The day to day routine of a helicopter pilot flying in the Gulf of Mexico does not suffer from having “too much” variety in it. Once you’re assigned to a job, and have flown that contract for awhile, you’ll essentially figure out the routine and settle into a nice pattern. The only time that really gets broken up is when a pilot elects to “work over” and make some overtime pay. It is when this happens that we find our variety. Today was one of those days for me, as I’m working over for two days. I was tasked with flying my first ever turtle watch flight – yes, we’re watching turtles from a helicopter and the reason why might surprise you! I totally wasn’t expecting #3….oh wait that’s a clickbait tagline. Well the reason might actually surprise you too, but never mind the clickbaity-ness of that sentence and click to read more! Damn…there I go again…
First of all I want to say thank you to everyone that’s been reading the latest posts, commenting, and messaging. Some loyal readers that had been waiting in the wings for me to start putting content back out – and some new readers! Welcome! I’ve been getting questions about certain aspects of being a helicopter pilot flying Oil and Gas in the Gulf of Mexico, so I’ve decided to field them here. The one I’ve been getting the most so far has been “What is life like off-shore?” Though my account of my current conditions are not representative of ALL platforms you might find yourself “living” on – it’ll give you an idea of what to expect.
This is one I’ve been meaning to write since I started flying off-shore. It’s a topic I get questions about from time to time, and one that is worth mentioning. What is the weather like in the Gulf? How do you plan, fly, and work with it? Now that may seem like a ridiculous question to some of the old dogs of aviation, those long in the tooth greying, bitter old bastards that have heli-bellies and retirement on the horizon – but for the younger up and coming generation of pilots these are the things that they are thinking about, asking about and interested in. So I’ll take a stab at it.
Even though I haven’t been writing for the past year and a half (give or take) I still get messages on this site, instagram, and on Facebook. It’s been a long time since I managed any helicopter pilot groups on FB so that last one is a bit of a mystery to me. Let’s roll with it. Lately, since starting in the Gulf the most common request I get is to write about what it is like to fly here, someone asked me to make a youtube video (not gonna happen for a few reasons), and now that I’m back writing again I figured this would be a good place to start.
Honestly I’m surprised at the fact that I haven’t posted this post before. I kind of just dove into writing this blog and I guess along the way assumed that people just “knew” who I was. For those of you that are regular readers you probably noticed the major style updates to the site. Well, one of the things that came with those updates is this featured post.
Earlier this year I was asked to sit on a mentorship panel by Helicopter Foundation International at HAI’s HELI-EXPO 2016, and to participate in mentor sessions for the Mil2Civ program, which focuses specifically on transitioning from Military life to a civilian pilot life. With that came a bio, that was printed and distributed to participants – so I’m recycling that bio and putting it here. Enjoy. Continue reading “Who is The Roaming Pilot? (Pics)”
Back in the start of March I had to fly back to the United States. I’d been invited to sit on a mentorship panel for up and coming helicopter pilots at HAI’s Heli-Expo 2016, and to participate in the Mil2Civ (Military to Civilian) mentorship and transition workshops that were being held in Louisville, Kentucky.
I remember when the Airbus A380 first rolled off the line and I thought to myself – I can’t wait to fly on one of those! And then the pictures of the business and first class areas started to make the rounds on the internet and I swore that I’d be flying business class on Emirates one day – soon. Well, this was the perfect opportunity. Continue reading “Flying with Class…Business Class”
“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” – Robert Frost
Tomorrow is January 29th, and once more I’ll be marking a birthday. To say that it is exciting to have made it this far would be an understatement – though a bit of a tired cliche as EVERYONE seems to think that they’ve “survived” the first 30 years of their lives. However, in all actuality, all things considered, the fact that I’m here now writing this, doing what I love for a living is a testament to some good luck, some good karma, and a whole lot of perseverance. In hindsight, after writing this, I should have broken it up into multiple posts. But I didn’t so you’ve got some reading ahead of you.
My leave in the United States seemed to end far quicker than it began and I quickly found myself boarding British Airways for a flight back to my real job – being a helicopter pilot. If I could be paid to just travel and write this blog, and I mean…that would be nice.
Anyways, I had a 10 hour layover in London before my connecting flight back to the Middle East, and there was no way I was going to sit on my hands in the BA terminal (it’s a nice terminal – in case anyone from BA is reading and wants to sponsor the blog); not when there was a beautiful, thriving, vibrant London just a quick shot down the tube waiting to be discovered!
That was meant to be a bit sarcastic given the usual grey, damp, backdrop to London that the rest of the world just assumes is the weather 100% of the time, however while I was there it was blue skies and only a little bit of rain. Continue reading “London in…maybe 7 hours”
I’ve been saying that I was going to catch up on my blog for some time now, but today I finally decided to at least knock out a few of the posts I’ve got waiting in the wings. For my, two…is it even two…followers. The thing with blogging is that unless you’re consistent (like I was during the Tuna Pilot days) your readership falls off faster than frat pledges on initiation night.
Speaking of college grade antics and shenanigans I recently (as in last year in October) spent a couple weeks in Cabo San Lucas. Which is now, by far, my favorite “close to home” tropical getaway. All the sun, sand, and fun you could possibly want, and it’s a short flight from home. Continue reading “Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Pics + VIDEO!!)”
Hello! I know it has been a very long time since my last post and I apologize for that. Let’s just say that all this silence over the last few months was triggered by an epic soap-opera level of drama that served as eye-opening for me as to the true nature of the aviation industry.
I digress! The Roaming Pilot is back online. If you’re a regular reader you’ll notice some pretty significant changes, mostly in that I won’t be writing about pilot stuff very much. However, you’re going to be very pleased to read on because I am now going to be “Roaming” even more! I’ve taken a job with a great company in a great location doing a great mission. It’s launched me, what I feel, is years ahead of my career track if I had pursued traditional paths.
For instance, I had the opportunity this past weekend to visit Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has been on my bucket list of places to visit since they unveiled the Burj Khalifa and also because of two other influence. Click to read on –