Re: FAA proposed rule We\'re here to help
[ QUOTE ]
Yup this is a real bummer for new pilots. Sight seeing flights around the national park are a good summer time builder here, but now you will need 500hrs to be PIC of tour aircraft. They also want every occupant of the aircraft to be wearing an approved life preserver for the entire flight.
[/ QUOTE ]
What park you writing about? I used to give helicopter rides over Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
[ QUOTE ]
This combined with the proposed detailed water ditching brief should suffice to scare off a few customers!
[/ QUOTE ]
Hey, it's hard to scare customers. I used to have a scale that I'd make my crew use when DA got up. Usually the crew could tell by looking but when it got hot I wanted to know for sure.
One time as I was working through a long line of tourists when my loader walked out two big sized guys. I had given them strict weight rules because it was hotter than blue blazes. The loader loaded the men and I motioned for him to come to my door. I asked him if the guy selling tickets was weighing like I said. He assured me that he was so I just thought they were fat but light. I pulled off for an air taxi departure and immediately realized that no, they were just fat.
As soon as I was off the pad RPM started dropping and the ground started coming up. I had to keep it in ground effect and milk the collective and throttle to get to effective tranlational lift. Even then I had to get about 45mph before I could get a good climb established.
I was PISSED.
When I got back and landed I locked everything down and left my loader watching the aircraft idling on the ramp and ran inside to chew the ticket seller's butt for darn near causing me to ball it up (never mind that I was the pilot and shoulda known by looking at the two).
I lit into Gary and he started protesting that he had weighed everybody and there were no descrepancies. Just then the two men walked into the gift shop with their wives. I mentioned to him (out of customer earshot) that those were the two guys I was questioning.
Gary got mad and told me what had happened. There was a big sign at the cash register with the weight limit. These two guys knew they were over so they had decided that just one of the two would buy two tickets with his small wife. So the man and wife would weigh okay, then once outside she just gave the ticket to the other man. We were really busy so it they didn't think it would matter.
I couldn't let them get away with it. So, with a gift shop full of people I went over and confronted these two big guys. I told them what they did was stupid and damn near caused a major accident. Their response?
"It's alright. We didn't crash."