Brian Diaz, the Airbus resident UH-72 Lakota guru at Fort Rucker, the Army’s Aviation Center of Excellence and its rotorcaft school, joins Rotor Radio to discuss the helicopter, its history with the Army and how it is used to train future military rotorcraft pilots.
When Shell began its Deepwater Drilling Project in Mexican Waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company needed to contract for civilian search-and-rescue services that the country did not then offer.
In a first for Mexico, a handful of companies have joined forces to provide the first non-governmental SAR service to drilling rigs off its shores, according to Chris MacKay, owner and international operations manager for Total Response Solutions, based in New Brunswick, Canada.
TRS is contracted to provide hoist operators and rescue specialists for the venture, establishing SAR overwatch for Shell’s “Deepwater Thalassa” drilling rig through 2023. The rig is positioned about 160 nautical miles due east of the border between Mexico and Texas in western Gulf.
There are few situations more dangerous for a helicopter pilot than flying into bad weather, a fog bank or other situation with zero visibility, where the mind can literally make up feel like down and right feel like left.
Such spatial disorientation is a huge problem in the helicopter industry and may has been implicated as a factor that led to the crash in which Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven other people perished earlier this year.
On this episode of Rotor Radio, we speak to Vertical’s own resident pilot and editor Elan Head about the “terrifying” phenomenon of spatial disorientation, flying in degraded visual environments and how it can fatally trick a pilot's own senses.
Current president of the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad-A) and retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Schloesser joins Rotor Radio to discuss the current state of Army aviation, future vertical lift technologies and more.
Schloesser retired from service after 34 years that included commanding the 101st Airborne Division and Regional Command-East in Afghanistan and serving as assistant division commander of the 101st in Iraq. He commanded two Army Special Operations Aviation Battalions and flew with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, known as the Night Stalkers. Prior to military retirement, he was the Director of Army Aviation, leading the U.S. Army's $6 billion Aviation modernization and transformation plan.
Currently serving as the president of Quad-A, Schloesser's day job is executive vice president of strategic pursuits at Bell, based at the company's Advanced Vertical Lift Center outside Washington, D.C.
Sikorsky for decades has been developing and testing X2 technologies that have proven a coaxial main-rotor helicopter can fly as fast or faster than a turboprop airplane. That investment has resulted in the S-97 Raider and SB>1 Defiant that are competing against equally robust prototypes to be the future of military rotorcraft. The chief engineer on all of those programs and the test pilot who flew them speak to Vertical.
Vertical discusses flying helicopters for Hollywood with veteran stunt pilot Aaron Fitzgerald, also one of a few people on earth qualified to perform helicopter aerobatics like flips, rolls and other maneuvers rotorcraft aren't traditionally supposed to pull.