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(Un)conscious bias in Pilot publication

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(Un)conscious bias in Pilot publication

Old 24th Jun 2019, 14:41
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(Un)conscious bias in Pilot publication

At Heli UK Expo, I picked up a copy of the Flyer Guide which is a small publication by Pilot magazine. It was free rather than the cover price of £4.99 so why not? The guide is designed for those thinking of taking up flying and covers licensing, schools, training aircraft, etc., and is primarily fixed wing orientated with some coverage of rotary. The section of the magazine related to common fixed wing trainers seemed to be balanced, covering the Cessna and Piper which their strengths and weaknesses - at least I think so given I have only flown the latter for 20 mins back in the '90's and that was enough to convince me rotary is the way to go!. The page given to common rotary training aircraft that made me question either the objectivity or the motivation of the writer. I tried to attach the two paragraphs for reference, but I have not posted enough here yet - happy to send the images to someone more esteemed to put in the thread. I learnt on the R22 back in '98 and thought it was a superb machine within the well known limitations (also the cheapest!) and this year I got the Cabri rating which is also a great machine (in my opinion) as long as the feet are prepared to travel. In other words, I like them both for different reasons.

Looking at the article, I think it very odd for the R22 to be completely dismissed as with the rationale of "not designed for training" when I suspect it is still the most popular training machine around with lower cost being a primary reason. To promote the R44 as it did seems a little idealistic and in the majority of instances most would surely take the R22 route to PPL before getting the R44 rating. Of course those with money no object will always follow their own path and "even purchase an R44". I wonder if the lack of discussion of the R22 was to mask the well known limitations that have ended in numerous poor outcomes which then does not shine such a glowing light on Robinson. I think the article would have been more relevant to the real world if it had concentrated on the R22 and spoke about the value, agility, RRPM discipline, availability, etc., that make it still a first choice for the majority (which is a reality whether you like Robinson aircraft or not!).

On the Cabri side, a couple of points jump out to me that if I was reading the article with zero knowledge (which is the type of person the guide is written for), I'd potentially strike it off the option list. For example, why reference the "surprise" American helicopter trained pilots would get using the right foot? The target audience have probably not flown a helicopter at all and it makes no difference if starting from scratch. Or, why not put in the R44 section how those used to flying European helicopters would be surprised at using their left foot? Why mention being "safe in the right hands"? Name me a modern helicopter that isn't safe if flown within relevant limitations and conversely any that are safe even in the wrong hands? Finally, the parting shot about numerous accidents blamed on pilot mishandling of the fenestron. Not to say the incidents don't happen, but no-one has died from it and there are plenty of ways to screw up any helicopter outside of slow use of your foot. Conversely, no mention in the R44 section about mast bumping \ low-g killing people.

I may have pissed off both camps in the forum now, but at least that is more balanced than the original article that ignored the perfectly valid R22 option and killed the Cabri option!
Mutley1013 is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 18:33
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Anyone who worries about what foot to use when making power changes shouldn’t be in a cockpit. Look out the damn window and keep the nose straight!
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 19:05
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Even Robinson wants students to ignore the "R22 option" and train in the R44.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 19:17
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Originally Posted by Mutley1013 View Post
I tried to attach the two paragraphs for reference, but I have not posted enough here yet - happy to send the images to someone more esteemed to put in the thread.
I'd like to see it if you don't mind sending it to me?
ApolloHeli is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2019, 10:04
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Sure, PM on its way.
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