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CONTENTS


FEATURES 44


AEROTOUR PURA VIDA!


56 68 74


2019


OEM OUTLOOK STC


44


MAJOR OR MINOR ALTERATION? CAREER LOSS


IS ONE MEDICAL EXAM AWAY


VIDEOS 45


Team Rotorcraft Pro visits Costa Rican helicopter operator Aerotour.


DEPARTMENTS 10 14 18 22


MY 2 CENTS’ WORTH RPMN columnist Randy Mains voices his industry views


MEET A ROTORCRAFT PRO Thomas Nicholson


EXECUTIVE WATCH Adam Aldous President, Night Flight Concepts


MIL2CIV TRANSITION Tips for the transitioning military helicopter pilot 68 72 By Scott Skola Major or Minor Alteration? STC


Is a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) a major or minor alteration? This is one of those questions that can easily disappear down the aviation rabbit hole. However, with some basic knowledge on aircraft alterations and certifications, it can also number among the easiest to answer.


A majority (pun intended) of people believe all STCs are major alterations simply due to its name. Another group believes that if a part comes with STC paperwork, it always requires completing a Form 337.


Jan/Feb 2019 70


24 26 40 42 84


WATCH VIDEO NOW!


Video Description Mountain helicopter rescue team performs an amazing toe-in landing on steep slope.


Losing Your Career May Be One FAA Medical Exam Away


FRUIT SALAD


To begin with, STCs are born and raised as an airworthiness standard under “Part 21: Certification Procedures for Products and Articles.” Whereas aircraft alterations, a performance standard, are found under “Part 43: Maintenance, Preventative Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration.”


These are two separate regulations that control two separate regulatory processes.


Nowhere in Part 21 does it mention major/minor alteration. And while there is a single mention of “STC” in Part 43.2, it’s in specific context to records of overhaul and rebuilding. So, why the widespread belief all STCs are major alterations?


Perhaps it’s because of limited personal experience or just a misunderstanding of the regulations. Or maybe another explanation is it’s generational learning that’s to blame, where methods and practices are passed down as fact (like the misconception that placing batteries on concrete floors causes them to discharge).


52 By Collin Hague


On 21 October 2016, shortly after my 32nd birthday I was given tragic news that would forever change my life:


I was diagnosed


with Type 1 diabetes and my career as a professional helicopter pilot was over. My family doctor; a man that has known me my entire life; who subsequently, understands my passion for flying—the same passion many you must share—was the one who broke the news to me.


I understood


Fortunately for us, from a maintenance point of view, STCs and aircraft alterations are as close to an apple-to-orange comparison as we have in aviation.


what the diagnosis meant and I am not ashamed to admit, I was crying like a baby in the arms of my girlfriend. She being a clinical pharmacist, was a voice of reason and the rock of stability I needed for our coming tribulations. In between my tears, I remember my physician recalling his morning conversation with his wife. “I will have to end a pilot’s career later today,” he’d told her. He also had a tear in his eye because he knew what the lab results meant.


While I probably can’t convince everyone that putting a battery on concrete is no longer an issue, I can provide a better understanding on how STCs interact with aircraft alterations.


DEFINITIONS


Let’s start with the easy side: aircraft alterations. Part 1 defines a major alteration as:


“An alteration not listed in the aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller specifications—that might appreciably affect


weight, balance, structural


strength, performance, powerplant operation, flight characteristics, or other qualities affecting airworthiness; or that


is not done according


to accepted practices or cannot be done by elementary operations.”


This definition is further supported by Part 43 Appendix A(a) which contains an itemized list of parts and alterations that are considered major alterations. And, as seen in the definition above, there is no reference to STCs.


74


Conversely, a minor alteration is defined as an “alteration other than a major alteration.” It’s all pretty straight forward.


On the STC side, it’s not as simple. Neither Part 1 nor Part 21 define “Supplemental Type Certificate” And most attempts to delve into existing guidance for a proper definition push us closer to that rabbit hole than closer to the answer we are looking for: namely, whether an STC is a major or minor alteration.


So, let’s look at an STC from a different angle. Jan/Feb 2019 rotorcraftpro.com 73 rotorcraftpro.com 71


This photo was taken following Collin’s first flight, two years after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which marked a major victory over his disease. The X on his finger represents a community of Type 1 diabetics and supports a charity known as BeyondType1.


MAINTENANCE MINUTE Tricks of the trade for helicopter mechanics


HANGAR TALK Industry news relevant to your business


HANGAR TALK – UAS News relating to unmanned aerial systems


PRODUCT & SERVICES FOCUS Start Pac and Flightdocs


ROTORCRAFT CHECKRIDE Objective vs. Subjective Teaching


COVER


Aerotour of Costa Rica operates a variety of helicopters (including this H125 B3e) to provide a variety of services in a very challenging operational environment.


Photo: Lyn Burks


RotorcraftPro.com Jan/Feb 2019


PURA VIDA! AEROTOUR STC


Major or Minor Alteration?


CAREER LOSS One Medical Exam Away


OEM OUTLOOK 2019


HELI-EXPO ISSUE VISIT US @ BOOTH B6730


6 Jan/Feb 2019 56 Jan/Feb 2019


Airbus Helicopters curre has 12,000 helicopters service in 150 countries.


In 2018, the company focu on improving the quality, saf and operational availab of its helicopters while be more competitive and offe greater value to its custome


OEM Outlook The 2019 Rotorcraft Pro By James Careless


Tough economic times notwithstanding, last year was a busy and innovative for the helicopter OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). According to the OEMs who spoke with Rotorcraft Pro, 2019 looks to be even busier and more interesting. Here’s what they told us...


“Upgrades to the prod range included introducing Helionix avionics suite on H135, and bringing the dig cockpit to the H125 and H1 said Chris Emerson, presid of Airbus Helicopters Inc. head of their North Ame region. “We also digiti our production facilities implementing digital s floors in some of our FALs (fi assembly lines) to incre quality and shorten l times. And we made stri in improving our logis performance, allowing us not only improve our inte operations, but also to raise bar in customer support quality.”


Looking ahead to 2019, Air Helicopters intends to conti this focus with enhanceme and evolutions of


its l


single-engine H125 and H1 along with the light twin-eng H135 and H145. The comp will continue to invest in H175 and H225 as well. “W also finalize the developm


Jan/Feb 2019


HELI-EXPO ISSUE


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