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Moved – www.jetbox.aero

I have now migrated to my new site at www.jetbox.aero

Please visit and bookmark this new address for all future updates.

Type rating on the Eurocopter EC135 Helicopter

Eurocopter EC135

Eurocopter EC135

Editors note :My good friend Richard Tyrer is the youngest CPL (H) and FI (H) in the country. He is currently in the midst of training for his Instrument Rating, part of which includes a type rating on the EC 135. He is a very competent pilot and regularly flies my machine. He has kindly agreed to contribute some articles on my blog.

For every one who is a regular to this website, my name in Richard Tyrer. I have been a commercial helicopter pilot and a flight instructor since January 2009. I came in to contact with Joel when I was in need of a Jet Ranger to go down to the south of France in earlier this year and much to my surprise he said yes! Ever since Joel has very kindly helped me out with my career which I cannot even thank him enough for. Continue reading

Importing a Hughes 500 helicopter from the USA

Hughes 500c HS Helicopter

Hughes 500c HS Helicopter with Lee

Joel has asked me to write a short piece on my experiences of bringing a Hughes 500 back from the USA to the UK so here goes.

I’m Lee Jones ,my day job is as a Captain on Airbus A320/321 for Monarch Airlines based at Manchester Ringway. I have long had an interest in helis and got my PPL (H) about 5 years ago. The Hughes and MDH product line has always been a favourite of mine due to its great handling, versatility and above all it supposed ‘relatively’ lower operating costs.

The 500 has since gone through several owners including the Hughes Tool Company ,McDonnel Douglas, Boeing and now MDH Inc. Continue reading

Training for the CPL (H) – Part 2

Post written by Capt. David Harwood CPL (H).


Once you’ve completed all the assessment papers for module 1 and AFT have marked them to assess your progress, you can book the exams at the CAA. These are held on fixed dates every 2 months at Gatwick. In the mean time, you need to spend one week at AFT for a brush-up course. This is a requirement of the distance learning course that you spend 10% of the study time in-house, but it’s also very useful as you get together with other students and discuss areas you’re not 100% happy with.

After the module 1 exams, you repeat the study process for module 2 subjects. However, you don’t need to pass all module 1 subjects before you can start module 2 subjects. I decided to sit all 5 exams from module 1 at my first visit to the CAA. I then sat 3 exams from module 2 on my second visit, leaving “Aircraft General Knowledge” until the third visit on it’s own as this is a huge subject. Continue reading

Training for the CPL (H) – Part 1

Post written by Capt. David Harwood CPL (H).

I’ve  just finished my Commercial Helicopter Pilot’s License – CPL(H) and I have to say it’s been a long road. For other pilots thinking of embarking on the CPL (H) training, it’s important you understand what you’re signing up for.

I passed my PPL (H) in March last year and for months I flew around on my own or with friends. My opinion at the time was that my flying ability wasn’t sufficiently acceptable to me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I believe when you get your PPL, it’s a licence to start learning and doesn’t mean you’re a good pilot. It just means you’re capable of flying a helicopter without killing yourself!!! So last July I had time on my hands, a new PPL licence and a hunger for all information heli related (yes, my names David and I’m a self-confessed heli-holic!!).

I decided, if I’m going to read all the books and learn about helicopters, as well as doing a lot of flying to improve my skills, I might as well get the qualification and do the CPL (H).

This is my story and I hope it helps others who are considering the modular route, which is the route I followed. Continue reading

G-LADZ Update

IMG_0465Yesterday we popped over to see G-LADZ at it’s maintenance facility where it had been recovered to on the back of a low loader from Sleap after it’s unfortunate incident on Sunday.

It looked in a sorry state but this was understandable as it had been stripped down, ready for inspection by all and sundry. The initial assessment (and I stress that this is not an official account of the damage) is that it has suffered a significant amount of damage starting at the rear of the engine all the way to the tail rotor. To be honest you don’t have to know the first thing about choppers to work this out for yourself.IMG_0460

There is no doubt that both horizontal stabilizers have been trashed, together with the tail boom itself which is bent to say the least. One of the tail rotor’s is bent down it’s longitudal axis and the other one hasn’t faired much better either. The tail rotor drive shaft which feeds into the tail rotor transmission has been traumatised and is certainly going to require replacement also.

IMG_0469These are the obvious items which are visibly damaged without question. It’s also clear that the rear skids have been stressed as the fractures are evident and considering the chopper was pushed about 3 feet laterally fas a result of the impact it’s hardly surprising that they have suffered. Further tests are being made of the airframe to consider it’s overall structural integrity and the results of these will be known shortly. It’s too early to determine what the prognosis is but more should be known in the next few days. In the meantime, the owners are chopper-less (except for the fact they can use mine) and G-LADZ is looking poorly although she’s being lovingly cared for in the HICU (Helicopter Intensive Care Unit)

Let’s hope she gets well soon.

Flowers and donations can be sent to me at Manchester Barton !!!! 🙂