Life as a Corp Pilot
Brendon Whitman works for Blue Ocean and spoke at the last refresher course. He works with Jason Kopp, who was unable to be there to give the talk.
Brendon grew up in Wellington, Co. on his parents farm. They had about 1,000 acres of alfalfa and corn. Every summer the crop dusters would come by and he thought that was so cool. He told his dad that’s what he wanted to be when he grew up but around the age of 14 – 15 he thought it was kind of dangerous flying so low around all that voltage and flying through a bunch of pesticides. That same year the school he attended had a flight for life helicopter pilot stop by and he got to talk to him. So then he wanted to become a helicopter pilot.
Senior year he was looking for colleges trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life and did he still want to fly helicopters. Aims Community College had a helicopter program starting up so he was their guinea pig as he was the first one to sign up.
He did all of his ground school at Aims and then came over here to Front Range Helicopters to do all of his training on the rotor craft side as opposed to the fixed wing. During that time he was working at a landscaping company with his 3 brothers trying to pay for flight training. At that time it was about $350.00 an hour.
Winter months we worked the line here at the jet center. That worked into a job detailing corporate hangers, then he became a hanger manager for Martin Lind for several years building flight time while still flying helicopters.
That turned into him thinking this corporate stuff is kind of cool. They get to go out on the road and have a lot of fun and do some amazing missions.
So he switched to fixed wing. It was cheaper to rent than a helicopter so he did an add on private pilot rating here. It took way too long so he started researching schools and in the spring of 2012 he went to Dallas and busted out everything in 6 weeks.
He came back and had the qualifications and ratings to fly SIC in a Lear 31 and the rest is history.
Every quarter at Blue Ocean the do a safety meeting where they go over case studies, report forms and Frat Trans. They go through several items such as high altitude airport, uncontrolled vs controlled airport, and long duty days. Each item gets scored with a number. If it is over 20, how do they mitigate it. So they change the crew, do they wait for weather to improve. Whatever it takes to bring the risk value down to a desired value and then at the end of each quarter they go through each one of those to see where they end up and what do they need to do to fix it.
Every 6 months they do a 4 day Sims in Dallas.
They do a safety stand down annually in Wichita that includes water training, water evacuation training and everything.International procedures are every 2 years as well as fire training every 2 years.
Upset training is every 5 years. He followed that with slides and videos of his time flying upside down as well as videos of missions and took questions from the audience.