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May 2019

Welcome is the word of the month. Welcome to the newsletter and to all those laying their eyes upon it. Welcome to wonderful new staff members, Alex Poole and Wing Chan. And welcome again to our new Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter. We hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter and that it amply fills its role of communicating all that goes on behind these hangar walls.


Introducing our newest crew members, Alex Poole and Wing Chan.

Alex Poole, Melbourne Heli's Head of Operations Elect

The Head of Operations at a flight school as any instructor will tell you is a core element to operations running smoothly, safely, and effectively. Our current HOO and business owner Chris, who up to date has been at the helm is passing the role onto our instructor, Alex Poole. A born Aviator, Alex has been flying since the age of 13. Attaining his commercial licence at 18 Alex kickstarted his career at the 12 Apostles before moving into instructing, building up an impressive 1800 hours instructing experience and gaining his class one rating. Alex’s most recent post entailed flying over our heads each morning for Melbourne’s traffic camera (whilst we were all below, stuck in traffic). Outside of flying Alex is busy being a dad to one lovely little munchkin. The transfer from Chris to Alex will happen over the next few months.

Wing Chan

We’re rather impressed with our new crew member, Wing. In addition to being a skilled pilot she has recently completed her PhD in genetics/marine science at the University of Melbourne, so now the doctor on board is also the pilot. Wing speaks four (yes four) different languages and her scientific research focuses on coral reef restoration and conservation. Wing began her aviation journey with a gliders licence, being up in the air even before she could drive a car. She completed her flight training in New Zealand before coming back to Australia to fly in the Whitsundays and on Phillip Island. Wing is currently completing her instructor rating here at Melbourne Heli, and will be a fully fledged flight instructor soon. We’re thrilled to have her as part of the team.


The Guimbal Cabri G2.

As most of you know the newest addition to our fleet is the Guimbal Cabri G2. We welcomed this helicopter to the company late in 2018 and the feedback has been overwhelming, it's booked out a good three months in advance. We’re excited to be the first company in Victoria to fly this machine. A composite fuselage, fully articulated rotor head with three composite fibreglass blades, and a Fenestron are among the many safety features this newly engineered helicopter have to offer. The G2 brushes gusting winds of up to 40 knots off its shoulder and doesn’t mind a little rain when it washes through, making it a flexible training machine. A glass cockpit aids students in accuracy and the kevlar fuel tank is literally bullet proof, what more can we say?

A quick note for Timely.

Our new booking system is called Timely. We're hoping all the wrinkles have been ironed out so far, though do let us know if you are having trouble. For existing students to book lessons, head to the Melbourne Heli website. The link below is to our 'flight school' page where you will find the booking button labeled 'current student book here'. We’re looking forward to seeing you all in soon.


Study corner: Wind shear

On the day this was written the wind was very much misbehaving, blowing 25kts and gusting 42kts with wind shear. Not the most comfortable ride in the world. Not wanting to waste the day, we thought we'd shed some light on the dangers of wind shear and how to avoid it.

In a nutshell wind shear is the sudden change, either vertically or horizontally in space of wind direction or speed. Effects on the helicopter can be turbulence, a sudden increase or decrease in airspeed, and drift.

The safety of numerous operations can rely heavily on where the wind is coming from, especially in low level. Certain operations are rarely endeavoured with a downwind for example, as there’s simply not enough relative airflow to provide us with lift; take off and approach, autorotations, and quick stops are some examples. As you can imagine a sudden change from a headwind to a downwind is potentially disastrous.

Wind shear is typically associated with oncoming fronts, thunderstorms, connective clouds, mountain waves and microbursts. Look out for cloud formation presenting as a long flat line.

Avoidance is best when wind shear is forecast. That being said forecasting is difficult and we're often surprised. If you get caught in wind shear do your best to turn back into wind, if on approach a go around is recommended.

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