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POINT OF COMMUNICATION
Continued from page 4
One significant program that has started to move the industry culture
in the right direction is the HFI Land & LIVE initiative or, as I like to
advise, "When safety is in question, land the damn helicopter!"
We land helicopters everywhere and anywhere all day long - it's
literally what our industry does. Yet when the flight isn't going
well and we should land to address deteriorating weather, low fuel,
mechanical concerns, or another issue, we do not. Instead, pilots push
on, with grave results.
Why don't we make precautionary landings when we need to? We
worry that the landing was not part of the original plan, the passengers
or company will get mad, the FAA will have something to say, or that
local authorities on the ground will be upset with us.
HAI looked into what really happens when precautionary landings
are made. In the majority of instances, passengers, operators,
regulators, and others express support and appreciation for the decision
Frankly, the opinions of those who weren't supportive don't matter.
Do their concerns justify not making the precautionary landing and
instead continuing the flight, possibly resulting in the deaths of all on
board the aircraft and some people on the ground? I think not.
I would rather make the precautionary landing. If the FAA, my
company, customer, or local authorities have either compliments or
complaints about the landing, we can discuss them on the ground, over
a cup of coffee. (By the way, you can learn more about precautionary
landings, including resources for pilots, operators, and first responders,
As good as we think we are and as committed to each flight, we will
not transport every patient, tourist, company executive, news reporter,
family member, or friend. Nor will we fight every fire, do every
external load, or film every event. Not if our industry truly puts safety
first above everything else.
Help me achieve the dream: no helicopter accidents. We can do it if
we really want to.
That's my story and I am sticking to it. Let me know what you think
As always, fly safe - fly neighborly. q
President and CEO,
Helicopter Association International
(This material first appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of ROTOR magazine.
© 2017 Helicopter Association International. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.)