Just Let Me Explain

Those of you who are paying attention noticed 2 new tabs at the top of the page…the Career tab, which I already posted on, and FL005 T-shirts, which takes you to a storefront with helicopter-inspired T-shirts. Just to put your mind at ease, wikiRFM was not some ruse to get you to buy a T-shirt so I could pay off my credit cards. From a financial perspective, both of these sites are pretty stupid ideas, and with the software, domain names, and time invested, I won’t ever come close to recouping my costs.

FL005 is actually a way an investment in the wikiRFM. Follow my logic, flimsy as it is. The T-shirt shop is interactive–you can rate and comment on the designs, recommend designs if you think mine are kinda lame, and eventually I’ll engineer a way for you to post pics of yourself in an FL005 T-shirt on the front page. Likewise, wikiRFM is completely interactive, and after fooling around with FL005, maybe you’ll come back here and rate some articles, or comment on/edit some of the lesson plans.

The bigger picture is that there aren’t a lot of good helicopter T-shirts out there. Try Googling “helicopter T-shirt” and you get a deluge of truly lame T-shirts from CafePress and Zazzle. They suck, and you can waste hours trying to find one that isn’t shameful. So it’s a good advertising opportunity. Anybody who runs that search will find FL005 (eventually), and on every page at FL005, you’ll find a link back to wikiRFM. FL005 will draw more traffic back here. That’s the plan anyway.

If you have time, check out FL005.com, poke around the site, and let me know what you think.

Wiki Rotorcraft Flight Manual: Ground Zero

I’m sitting around, trying to figure out how I’m going to get from 246 hours of helicopter time to 1000 hours. Networking has never been my strong suite, and I don’t have anybody who’s willing to mentor me through this phase. That means I need to be a flight instructor. For me, personally, this is no problem. Flying is a second career for me, I’ve taught before, and I think it’s great fun and rewarding. Right now though there are 13.2 million CFIs out there, some of who just finished their CFI yesterday. I need a way to stay sharp, and if I’m not working or working on a rating, I just can’t keep up.

I thought I would expand on my otherwise basic lesson plans, and in doing so I came up with an idea. Since I’m on VerticalReference every day, and there are many knowledgeable pilots there, why not draw them in? So I put this post up: Teaching Techniques: Hovering. I thought this could evolve into a great series–the “Teaching Techniques” tag could be a search term that anybody could go back and look at in the future. I thought there’d be enough idle CFIs that it’d get a lot of comments. I even committed to updating the first post based on the comments.

By the time the topic was dead, it got a disappointing 14 comments (3 of them were mine). Hopefully that isn’t foreshadowing…. But it has over 1800 views, which is 2-6 times the views that other posts in the Flight Training forum get. I thought the outcome was pretty useful, although it took me processing people’s experiences and drawing a lot from conversations I had. In the end, I didn’t think it was successful enough to warrant a follow-up.

Well, I came back to the idea after looking into a WordPress blog for another project. Since that project didn’t pan out, I now have time to work on this one. Anyway, check out About Wiki RFM if you want to know why I think this is a good idea and how it works. If you agree that it’s worth it, contribute once I start adding content! Otherwise I’ll just let it join the rest of the electronic jetsam that’s drifting out there. If it takes off, even a little bit, I’ll figure more out about how it should work.