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)”
Last year I tried to keep summaries for each day of HeliExpo and post them up here, that would end up proving to be a really tough task. It was my first HeliExpo and I made the naive mistake of thinking that I would have anything that resembled free time during the week. My days started before 7am at press breakfasts and meetings and then spilled over into the convention hall floor for interviews, booth announcements, and photography. The action of the day would only melt away and intensify into the after parties, banquet halls full of catered food (often the same menu) and open bars. I can’t recall a day that ended before 3am THE NEXT DAY.
Continue reading “HAI’s HELI-EXPO 2015 (part 1)”
The Story Continues. In part 1 of my round-up I talked about how I got to HELI-EXPO and the people that really came through to make it happen for me. I’m going to recap HELI-EXPO here and try and be brief about it but so much amazing stuff happened it may be very hard to keep the post short and sweet.
HELI-EXPO 2014 has come and gone and I’ve promised a post on my time down there for the last week and a half. So here it is. I’m going to start by saying that HELI-EXPO was by far the best experience of my career! I can’t think of a better venue for anyone in our industry to be at every year in a row. And I plan on going back. After putting at a “half joking, half dead serious” status on my facebook account asking if someone wanted to sponsor me for the expo, I not only got in. I got in as an exhibitor with press access.
Want the scoop? Also – want a huge gallery of pictures from HELI-EXPO? Click the link and follow through.