February 2020 News

Home News February 2020 News

This month we chat to one of our students about their final exam, recap on our commercial theory course, and look towards the Tyabb Airshow.

Tyabb Airshow

tyabb Glenn is making the trek down to the 2020 Tyabb Airshow on March 8th with our Guimbal Cabri. We’ll be showing off the golden child with a small booth set up for the day, answering questions about, flight training, charters and the helicopters we fly; Glenn has kindly made himself available to anyone who wishes to take a selfie with him. The airshow uses the proceeds to help fund local service clubs and the Tyabb CFA.

Got your own aircraft? Why not organise to fly it down for the day with us? Details for flying in can be gained on the main page of the website (provided above). Additionally we can take you through the process, contact glenn@melbourneheli.com

Student Achievements this month

Natalie, Private Pilot Licence
Nat completed her Private Pilot Licence with us this month, achieving a great result. We’ll miss you as you head back to Canada Nat, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you about the hangar.

Lovel, Commercial Pilot Licence
Big congratulations to Lovel for gaining her Commercial Licence. We’re happy to have you out in the world working Lovel, awesome accomplishment.

Justin, Private Pilot Licence
Another fresh Private Pilot needs a nod. All the best Justin on your future aviation adventures. Congratulations on passing mate.

Sam, Private Pilot Licence
Last but not least, a big congratulations to Sam for attaining his Private Licence. Well done and happy flying Sam.

Recap on Performance

In January, Chris took a few of our students through a recap of their Performance studies, using some fabulous props as featured here with commercial student, Bruce. This year we’ll be getting the ball rolling on our commercial level theory courses. Each course will be focussed on one commercial theory subject, set over three full days at the hangar.

Email info@melbourneheli.com to find out more about when the courses will be held.

Interview with the experts: Final flight examination.


It’s been a busy month of exams. We’re happy to give a huge congratulations to Lovel for completing her Commercial Pilot Licence and to Justin, Natalie, and Sam for completing their Private Pilot Licences.

After her flight examination, we sat down with Lovel to ask how she went in the lead up to it. We thought it the perfect time to shed some light on the some of the experiences student pilots have in training. After establishing the most obvious feelings of excitement and nervousness for the final flight, we spoke about the challenges Lovel faced and touched on some useful tips for future pilots.

MH: “What sort of preparation has been beneficial for you in the lead up to the flight exam?”

Lovel: “I’d say the pre flight test, it was helpful for a few reasons. It’s a great refresher for all the manoeuvres you learnt in training but may not have practiced for a while. You tick all the boxes in the syllabus for emergencies, navigation and basic manoeuvres, and then you might not practice them for a while because you’re learning something else. Going over everything, consolidating that muscle memory right before the test was a great boost to my confidence. Any extra practical flying was a bonus for me really, it’s one thing to go over it in your head and another thing to actually be out there practicing. Flying with Instructors at the end really helps to finesse your movements too; you can fly safely but they’ll always be there to help you improve.”

MH: “Was there anything that stood out as particularly difficult or easy in training?”

Lovel: “Navigation was tricky for me, knowing what to prioritise when there’s a lot going on. You have to focus on flying, then make a radio call, then change a frequency, then figure out where you are or make a judgment call on the weather; your attention feels like it gets pulled in all different directions sometimes. It takes practice to get on top of it.”

MH: “Was there anything that helped you overcome this? What advice might you give other pilots in the midst of training?”

Lovel: “Getting my ducks in order and staying on top of what I learned helped with getting better at Nav, and flying in general. There’s a lot of information to wrap your head around in aviation, lots of little things to remember. Reading a little bit everyday helped to keep it in my mind. When you don’t use something you start to forget it, so I would say do your best to keep it fresh. Additionally the more I prepared for a flight the less I worried about it and the more I could concentrate on the flying itself. Towards the start of my training I would do things like writing out what I had to say over the radio and taking it with me because it was one less thing to worry about. It sounds like a small thing but anything to reduce your workload when you’re flying makes a big difference; preparation is key.

MH: “What are your plans now that you have your licence?”

Lovel: “My plan moving forward is to look for full time work wherever I can; most likely find a job doing scenic flights. I’m happy to relocate anywhere in Australia at this point and look for opportunities overseas once I have some hours under my belt. In the long run I would like to get into search and rescue type roles.

Tip of the month: Keep your eyes on the horizon.

In other words, aim to look outside most of the time when you’re flying VFR. One of the most common bad habits students form in training is focussing too much on the instruments to guide them in manoeuvring the helicopter. Whilst a good awareness of your instruments is necessary, in VFR flight they are not designed to dictate your control inputs in real time. There is always a slight lag and as such, students are left chasing instrument configurations instead of flying the helicopter. Looking outside allows the pilot to orient the aircraft in space far better whilst maintaining a safe lookout.

Safety Corner:Focussing on fatigue

Fatigue and pilot wellness is one of the most important elements in the industry. Fatigue is an insidious threat in aviation, it’s difficult to gauge and often overlooked. In a society where it is commonplace to work overtime and numerous pressures to complete work affect us, careful attention should be payed to this latent threat. We encourage students to stay in tune with their mental and physical wellbeing and cultivate personal standards that ensure safe flight. Not a deadline exists that is more important than the safety of the flight. The acronym IMSAFE helps to give a basic self evaluation and can be used before each flight. Reflect on the following and ask if it could affect your performance. Your wellbeing is far too important not to.

I – Illness

M – Medication 

S – Stress

A – Alcohol

F – Fatigue

E – Eating