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Entries for October 2012

The doctor, nurse and I would stand by the helicopter in our matching custom-made University of California San Diego Life Flight blue flight suits looking as sharp as any flight crew on the Navy Blue Angels precision-flying team, (well kind of anyway) and after we gave our spiel someone would invariably approach me personally and ask, “Are you medically qualified, or are you JUST the pilot?”

GY: I do remember my first flight!  I was eight years old when my uncle flew my mom and me from New Mexico to our home in Texas.  It was a bit cramped in that J-3 Cub, but I can still see the view from the cockpit today.  I had two uncles with J-3 cubs, so I think they spilled avgas in my veins.  My first helicopter flight was in a Bell model 47 at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington, Texas—and that was the hook that could only be satisfied by learning to fly!

Many helicopter operators ask themselves these questions, and many others, when the conversation with a peer or competitor turns to the subject of an outside audit. Questions are a natural reaction, and each organization needs answers before they embark on an outside safety audit.

Did you wake up today and think to yourself, “I will go to work and crash my helicopter?” Writing it looks absolutely ridiculous and I am sure that it reads equally ridiculous. Although no one plans an accident, I am confident that we can all agree that accidents do happen. Given that several occur each month, we can also agree that they occur on a regular basis.

The problem is that none of us, including me, has an impending feeling that it will actually happen to us.

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