First precaution: never admit to doing anything reckless/stupid/illegal on a public forum.Second: when you are out in poor weather, never look up as a helicopter will surely appear and you will be forced to witness scud-running.Third: a fixed-wing pilot's attitude to this kind of flying differs from that of a rotary pilot,especially a rotary pilot under, ahem, commercial pressure.
Sure they do, but the number of small commercial FW aircraft in Ireland is significantly outnumbered by the number of small and not-very-small helicopters operating commercially and the FW aircraft tend not to land outside airports.I have heard from several experienced heli pilots that they come under fierce pressure to complete journeys, from people who have no clue about met conditions, in very legal/safety-dubious met/viz conditions.
Most of it is common sense, minimise the risks by doing the following;
1. Plan all flights properly and do not rush.
2. If you don't know something, dont blunder on and hope for the best, find out from someone who will know.
3. Understand MET, and make sure and get all relevant MET info, including possible diversions.
4. Do a proper walkround, fuel and C of G calculation.
5. Check NOTAMS, & use up to date charts etc.
6. Listen to experienced pilots, learn from their mistakes so that you do not make the same ones.
7. Brief passengers & crew properly and use the right safety equipment.
8. Do a CRM course, know your limits and do not exceed them.
9. Stay current on type and practice emergencies regularly with an instructor.
10. Use technology, computers for example, programmes that can show you earth mapping and grid co-ordinates, aerial photos etc, for landing sites.
11. Know how to navigate with a chart, do NOT rely on a GPS, they can fail, it happened to me.
12. Keep your licence & medical current and check the aircraft docs before flight.
This list gives you an idea on what to think of, but there are more than this, a popular way to remember important things to check is M.A.T.E.
M = MET, comprehensive and up to date.
A = AIRCRAFT, docs in date, defects, performance, and fuel.
T = TIME, endurance, daylight, airfield operating hours and planning time.
E = EXERCISE = flight plans, notams, PPR, route.
Remember, you are the aircraft captain, you make the decisions, not the passengers, it doesn't matter how wealthy they are, you can't spend money if you are dead!
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