Francis Meyrick

An Interesting Letter ref MTM – #004 Richard Grills

Posted on February 14, 2010

#004-Richard Grills

February 13, 2010

Hello Francis.

I read with delight your responses to my questions. It is good to have fixed wing experience as I started my aviation career this way. I flew c 180/85 aircraft for many thousands of hours conducting mustering operations. In Australia, we have a mustering rating for both helo and fixed wing. You require 100 hours as pic and have to spend 10 hours of actual mustering with an approved operator. Most pilots required more like 100 hours of supervision, certainly in the 185. I am an instructor in both fixed and rotary wing and specialize in ag and low level training in Australia. I have found that teaching the trade of low level ops in fixed wing is the most difficult for students to learn. Low level turbulence, take off and landings from cattle pads that most often lead to tall trees, managing the systems of a 185, flaps power control, energy management, operating the aircraft at minimum speeds and Safety, the list goes on. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I get this and is one of my favourite songs sang by tower of power. I was fortunate to fly a sukhoi Su-29 and found it to be quite different to an aerobat. I understand the connections of your answer to my first question.

What a great idea of yours to spend time with a new pilot and sign him/her off as competent and forward to the insurance company. It is much the same as a mustering rating in Aus. When I started flying helicopters off purse seiners, I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to be taught by a veteran and was never that comfortable with low level ops. I would of loved to be guided by someone like yourself as I to know of many fixed and rotary pilots who would of been cactus if it wasn’t for the saving hands of people like ourselves. This writes like an ego massage.

Good on you Francis for doing the work you do. The Tuna Manual and your other contributions are fantastic and I recommend your experience and involvement to anyone. I used to approach my ship close to the starboard side and then kick it (sound rough, it is) at the last moment, usually large spikes in tot and torque because that is what I would see other pilots do. I read your article on landings and followed the advice. I would fly a wider approach,well away from ‘coffin corner’, 200ft 60knots, abeam the ship 40 knots, looking over my left shoulder and 45 degrees to the deck I would conduct my final approach. Merging with the ship felt great as I didn’t require any large control inputs. My c20 powered 500 would show apx 30psi of torque right down to the deck with just a small adjustment on the collective to land with a huge power margin. I have video footage of the two different techniques and it is clear which one uses the least amount of power. Thank you for polishing my flying. A picture of me just about to finish my contract and in need of some grooming and nurturing.

Take care for now. Do you ride pommy motorcycles? Look forward to further conversation.


Richard Grills

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on March 14, 2010, 9:02 am

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