Does the helicopter industry have a people problem?

Another career pathway program — the SkyPath Pilot Program — has been launched by Mark Schlaefli of Sundance Helicopters, an Air Methods subsidiary. The program started in conjunction with flight school Leading Edge Aviation Inc., of Bend, Oregon, and has expanded to include the University of North Dakota’s aerospace program. A candidate applies for the program through select part 141 partner flight schools, and as the pilot progresses through ratings, they are evaluated for their performance. Once they have reached a level of certification defined by the school, they are interviewed by a panel from Sundance and the flight school. If they’re accepted into the program, the candidate continues through their ratings at the school and eventually, once they’ve become an instructor and after a period of dual time (and once part 135 minimums are met) he or she is eligible for a guaranteed interview with Sundance. “There’s no such thing as guaranteed jobs in the world, but it is about as close as you get to that,” said Schlaefli. “We should have been, as an operator, directly involved with developing and mentoring new pilots all along. This is something we should have been doing for years.” There are currently five people in the program from UND, and Schlaefli expects the first SkyPath graduates to arrive with Sundance in spring 2020. He hopes to ultimately bring through 10 to 15 pilots each year through the program. “If we can do that, then we’re going to have a great supply of qualified people, we can lower minimums, and have increased performance and increased safety — and I think it will do the industry good,” he said. The program is focused on pilots right now, but Schlaefli aims to broaden it to maintenance technicians; he said the shortage of engineers was actually his biggest concern. “We just had some discussions with Southern Utah University, who is in a very unique position with their offering a maintenance course, and have actually been successful in having some regulations changed to allow them to develop a rotorcraft specific track for mechanics,” said Schlaefli. “They are going to learn rotorcraft and very specific things [related to rotary-wing maintenance] from the beginning — which I think is huge.”

Mar 12, 2019

Lonely Planet Korea - 라스베이거스를 즐기는 7가지 방법 - Part 2

프로펠러가 힘차게 돌아가자 헬리콥터가 지면과 점점 멀어진다. 바둑판처럼 네모반듯한 주택가를 지나고 나니, 이내 붉은 사암으로 된 돌산이 코앞에 보인다. 하늘 위라는 흥분이 채 가시기도 전에 목적지인 레드록캐니언(Red Rock Canyon)에 도착한 것이다. 약 20분을 날아 다다른 이곳은 스트립 서쪽으로 32킬로미터가량 떨어진 모하비 사막(Mojave Desert)의 동쪽 끄트머리다. 하루를 꼬박 투자해야 하는 그랜드캐니언 대신 라스베이거스에서 대자연을 조우할 수 있는 근교 여행지로 인기가 높다. “자, 피크닉을 시작할까요?” 헬리콥터 투어를 이끄는 선 댄스(Sun Dance)의 조종사 애덤 워크(Adam Walk)가 능숙하게 바위 지대에 헬리콥터를 착륙시킨 뒤 피크닉 바구니를 꺼낸다. 경치 좋은 절벽 끝에는 하얀 테이블보가 깔린 탁자가 마련돼 있다. 앞으로는 라스베이거스의 도심이 한눈에 담기고, 뒤로는 레드록캐니언의 하이라이트인 붉은 줄무늬가 너울거리는 절벽이 병풍처럼 펼쳐진다. 승객들은 황금빛 기포가 솟아오르는 샴페인잔을 부딪치며 이 믿기지 않는 피크닉을 즐긴다. 황량한 사막 위에 세운 도시 라스베이거스를 실감하며. 피크닉은 화려하게 빛나는 라스베이거스 상공 위에서도 이어진다. 헬리콥터는 스트립을 1바퀴 돌며 환상적인 야경까지 책임진다. “이 투어의 장점은 레드록캐니언과 스트립 야경을 모두 즐길 수 있다는 겁니다. 또 비행시간이 짧아서 멀미 걱정을 덜 수 있죠.” 워크가 조명이 촘촘히 수놓여 있는 스트립을 향해 핸들을 꺾으며 말한다. ⓘ 선 댄스 시티 라이트 피크닉 1인당 250달러,

Feb 4, 2019

The NME guide to Las Vegas

Believe it or not, there’s more to do in Las Vegas than win or lose big in the casinos, or hit up clubs and dance to EDM all night. There’s also a ton of culture, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, incredible food, and more to discover. Vegas might be known as Sin City for its hedonistic reputation but the biggest offence you could commit is not digging a little bit deeper and getting to know another side to the city. Here are our tips for what to do, where to eat and drink, where to stay, and more. What happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but that doesn’t mean you have to be there the whole time. Book a helicopter to the Grand Canyon, just over the state line in Arizona, and marvel at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. If you fly with Sundance Helicopters, as we did, you’ll get some pre-recorded narration played through your headset, a friendly pilot to answer any questions and share facts along the way, and some music to soundtrack the bits in between. We regret to inform you this includes Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2, but you might find yourself tearing up to them as you fly over one of the best sights you’ll ever see (not that we did. Not at all). Once you get to the canyon, you’ll land on a bluff in the Hualapai reservation, be able to take all the stunning pics you want, and have a little snack and glass of champagne as you take in the views. Read more at

Nov 23, 2018