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Entries for June 2013

Badly thought-out ergonomics nearly got me killed in January 1969. As you may know, a segment of flight safety called ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices in the cockpit that fit the human body.  The incident occurred three months into my one-year tour as a UH-1H Huey pilot in Vietnam.  Ironically, it was my first real close brush with death over there, ironic because it didn’t come at the hand of a V.C. with an AK-47, or from an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade).  Instead, I nearly lost my life at the hand of the company instructor pilot who was checking me out in the Bell 205 while giving me my aircraft commander check ride.

This week, from the Paris Airshow, Bell Helicopter announced its return to the short light single (SLS) engine helicopter market with a new product designed to specifications based on the input of a customer advisory council. Bell Helicopter’s new, five-seat entry-level aircraft is expected to complete its first flight in 2014 with certification to follow as quickly as possible.

It was a week after Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Bob Papp had given his “State of the Coast Guard” address.  Capt. Joseph P. Kelly, commanding officer of Air Station Elizabeth City, had set aside an afternoon for all-hands training to watch the speech and reflect on themes from the address.

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