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…
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)”
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 –
Let me start first by qualifying myself to even make the following comments. I am a US Army Veteran, I served honorably in combat, and my honorable discharge reflects that. I carry a VA service connected disability rating of 20% (getting blown up and shot at a lot will do that to a guy – it’s mostly hearing related), and I am one of the many helicopter pilots currently working in the industry that earned not only my ratings as a pilot – but my degree – through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. On March 15th LA Times reporter Alan Zarembo published an article that sparked an online wildfire of judgments against Helicopter flight schools, vets, the VA, and what was mischaracterized as a “loophole” in the VA program – The Post 9/11 GI Bill. In the weeks, and months that have followed two schools have seen new enrollments stopped (albeit one was voluntarily), and now Congress is talking about pulling flight funding for the GI Bill, and all because one article, poorly researched, led people down a path of misinformation. With all due respect to Alan Zarembo and the LA Times, you’re messing with the wrong group – and your reporting on this issue was half-baked at best – though I appreciate you bringing light to the issue and hope that your reporting will help us solve this problem, I feel as though you set your sights on the wrong “big picture”. Allow me to not only fill in some holes for you, but also give you the solution to the problem. Vets represent some of the most capable and intelligent members of American society – this is a well known fact – we not only saw the problem coming, we know exactly how to solve it.
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)”
We went out scouting some cool sites to land and camp, a few weeks ago. One particular area had some tall grass in it so I had to take a picture.
Wow it has been way too long since I’ve been roaming or since I posted here. I’ll be honest with you, there wasn’t much roaming going on the last few months. My routine was pretty set. I’m currently working full time as a CFII with Inland Helicopters and teaching at a college. So more or less…every day was classroom stuff. We had some really cool flights during that time, but it didn’t make it here. So I’m totally sorry about that!
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.