KDFW Traffic Helicopter Crash near DFW

WFAA - Picture of Helicopter Crash SiteI want to thank Student Helicopter Pilot Jason of for the heads up on this story.

A few days ago, on the heals of the ENG helicopter crash in Phoenix, there was amazing video of an apparent engine failure on Bell 206 Jet Ranger Helicopter for the FOX station in Dallas-Fort Worth. The video shows them en-route when you can clearly hear an alarm tone — most likely the engine failure warning — go off in the cockpit. It sounds like the helicopter rolled after landing on some uneven ground. Everyone got out and there were only minor injuries. In a helicopter you only have a few seconds to: realize the failure, start the autorotation, get turned into the wind if possible, pick a safe landing site, and hopefully walk away. More details and links after the jump!

Continue reading

Robinson Helicopter Factory Tour

Robinson Delivery AreaLast month, AOPA had a great article by Steven W. Ells about Robinson Helicopters and their manufacturing facility in Torrance, CA.

It just so happened that I was out in the Los Angeles area for a training conference with 10,000 other network engineers and I realized how close to the factory we were going to be. A co-worker and pilot friend of mine and I decided to skip lunch on Tuesday and go take the tour in Torrance. Keith is not much of a helicopter person per se, but I’ll keep working on it. Full write-up after the jump!

Continue reading

Career Satisfaction

Today on my drive home I was listing to the Shanin & Parks talk radio program on KMBZ. They were discussing a survey that came out about job satisfaction and several people called in discussing various aspects of their job satisfaction. It got me thinking if I could do anything at all what would it be? Don’t get me wrong, I love working as a Network Engineer and I feel I am pretty good at it, but I would probably do something in aviation like be a professional pilot (helicopter news gathering, helicopter police work, medical transport or maybe even a military pilot). I suddenly realize that I need to configure the new router interfaces for the new business partner coming online next week…

Next Pilot Training Endeavor

Had some trouble sleeping last night (again) thinking about my next pilot training endeavor. I guess you know you are passionate about something when you can’t sleep thinking about it. I currently have about 215 hours and I need 250 to get my commercial and subsequently my CFI. My dilemma was if it was worthwhile to get my private helicopter rating as a time building to get towards my 250 hour mark; then take my commercial and CFI in the airplane.

Read about what advice a local CFI gave me about my “plan” after the jump.

Continue reading