Interview with Kurt Robinson, CEO, Robinson Helicopter

AMT: What's your opinion of the overall industry right now? KR: Overall I think the industry is pretty good, there's no question that the 2008 recession, worldwide, that was huge. That hit us like I've never seen. Typically when the United States is...

"Our dealers have been really good about being able to deal with that; if the factory doesn't have approval then one of our trainers probably does. Either Efrain or Dick Sanford, he's over in England and has EASA approval. In Canada we work with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology; it has the approval to provide the R66 training," says Pat Cox.

KR: Most countries or people that work on helicopters outside the United States have to get the equivalent of a Part 145 (repair station); we made that a requirement as far as the R66. We weren't sure how that would go over but we felt that having a true maintenance organization when you're dealing with a $800,000 helicopter made some sense to us. We wanted to cut out the people that just wanted to sell helicopters and not maintain them so we felt that by having a Part 145 (requirement) we could bring the inspector and all the requirements that are necessary.

We were stunned when everyone said, oh yeah that's what we want to do. Everybody overseas said we already have that. The surprised us. I'm surprised that here in the U.S. they don't push for a little more stringent levels.

"Did you see the warning in the flight controls part of the maintenance manual?" asks Cox. "It says, Asssembly of flight controls is critical and requires inspection by a qualified person. If a second person is not available, the installer must take a five-minute break prior to inspecting flight control connections he has assembled."

"The rules in the U.S. are completely different than anywhere else in the world. Any first or second world country, anywhere else in the world, has a mandatory second inspection. The United States does not, unless you're a repair station," he continues.

And all the fatal accidents because of non inspection have been in the United States.


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