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What The **** Am I Doing?


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I suppose I'd do well to also mention I am pretty afraid of this too, and I'm not even flying yet. Strangely enough, it's been really helpful to learn more about crashes. Transport Canada has several crash investigators, and they seem to be respectfully open to sharing information about the industry this way. It's kind of taken the mystery, or fear of the unknown, away.

 

Joseph Campbell said, if you're going to say "yes" to life, you need to say yes to it all.

 

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Every time you flip a coin the odds are 50/50 that it'll turn up heads. The odds don't "stack up". 50/50. Everytime. Same with a single dice: 1/6 that you'll get a six. Every roll.

 

Death scares me, too. Got a lot of friends who've died... It's a very, very bad thing. If I could be happy as an accountant, or greeter at Wally's, or carpenter, I'd hang up my helmet in a second! I feel pretty selfish doing a job where there's a greater than "usual" chance of death or serious injury. But flying's fun, adventurous, challenging, and pretty darned satisfying, and I figure that enjoying my work is worth the minor additional risk. Luckily my sweetheart feels the same way!

 

Keep on havin' fun!!

 

Dick

 

A little bit dramatic don't you think? I would be really concerened if I knew my pilot (either as a customer or crew member felt this way).

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Max: Dramatic? Me??? Ok, it's possible...

 

Let me assure you that my fear of death is VERY strong. I have a tremendous sense of responsibility to myself, my wife, daughter, passengers, and my employer, and I don't take additional risks for "fun". Every flight should be as safe as possible; that's our job.

 

What part of my earlier post causes you concern?

 

Dick

 

Ps. Enjoying the interesting discussion on this thread!

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Hey Y'all

 

I am currently a bush nurse and I make pretty decent money. But I have lived the last 10 years of my life trying to convince myself that I didn't want to fly helicopters until the day after my wife and I finished paying off our debt and a switch went off and I new in a moment of clarity that I had to fly!! A common story. The day the course of my life changed was around the same time that the 2 medical choppers collided in Arizona. Since then there has been a slew of very unfortunate collisions and in a way it was good in that it taught me very early that no matter how hours you have things will happen!

 

It has been about 6 months since I decided to start flying and I am still saving money and my wife and I are thinking of starting a family and I think about the potential dangers of flying every day as, like many of you, I have familial obligations. Perhaps my decision to continue along this fateful path can be seen as being selfish but all of us are dreamers and I think once the seed is planted we are "doomed" to become helicopter pilots! lol...

 

I think collisions, like the industry, are cyclical. Right now because of all the collisions many pilots are being a bit more introspective and are trying find ways to decrease as many variables as possible that may lead to catastrophic events.

 

I know that this whole climate has influenced me already as I see the importance of being proactive and being ready for moments when I will be forced to be reactive.

 

I am not a pilot yet but I already see how easily and how quickly things can go wrong. I read all the NTSB reports I can find so that I may learn from the mistakes of others. I know I will make a mistake one day and I just pray that my hands and feet are ready to take me home safely.

 

Cheers to you all and I look forward to one day being a proud member of the aviation brotherhood.

 

CoolHandLuke (hopefully one day...lol)

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I was once told that there are 2 types of Helicopter Pilot...

 

... those who "have" crashed (or experienced a serious emergency), and those "who will"...

 

It was explained to me, that if you are in this business long enough, it is not a matter of "if" it will happen, just a matter of "when". What the outcome will be at that time is just fate.

 

Looking back on my 30 years in this industry, I have met several pilots who have cheated death (some repeatedly) and survived, and then there are those who were not so fortunate.

 

I do not dwell on it. I do the job to the best of my ability and hope my skill/training will prevent a fatal result when that next emergency situation develops.

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Since we have had so many great replies, I'd like to bring up other question to this topic.

 

Does anyone here choose to fly some helicopters and not others, purely as a safety issue? I think it used to be fairly common for pilots to not fly Astars back in the day when they had the lycoming engines and they were considered "deathstars" or "shootingstars". But I haven't heard of anyone still making that choice.

 

Today of course their reputation is much safer, and everyone and their little sister has one, but they certainly aren't the most crashworthy airframe in the world, and you still hear scary hydraulic stories a few times a year.

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A few days ago I had my 41 st Bday. It was nice sitting around with friends new and old talking up stories of flying. Then the subject of an old buddy that was killed a few years back while bird towing. In a strange type of epiphany it dawned on me that my number could be the next one up. I mean statistically speaking I probably have a better chance of getting hit by a car crossing the road. But my friend could have used this logic too. So what the **** am I doing having all this fun flying around in a contraption that is trying to shake its self apart at every chance. Then I thought about the statistical fact that for over 5000 hours I have had lots of fun burning around, and sure there have been a few minor happenings but nothing catastrophic. So I guess things being what they are am I just plain nuts and is flying these things crazy? How long can I cheat the odds? Am I the only pilot that has these self imposed moral fear of death and presses onward knowing full well that flying helicopters is bloody dangerous? Sure is a blast though.

 

Any suggestions on how to reason this thing out.

 

1. Nobody lives forever. If you are making life decisions based on the notion "if I do this I MIGHT die" you are kidding yourself. There is no might to it.....only a when.

 

2. If you fly a helicopter for a living you are experiencing life to the fullest. Another form of death would be to spend your life in an office cubicle shuffling paper around in an unfulfilling job.

 

3. Having said all that, if you are the sort of person that goes to the darkside easily you might want to consider a career change.

 

4. Twin engine helicopters have a certain redundancy that is hard to beat.

 

 

Good luck.

 

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