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What The **** Am I Doing?

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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.


I have a friend who had 55 friends die in one year. He had to quit flying for a while. That was a heavy year. He's the best person to talk to about this stuff. He's seen it all. & he's still flying.


I have learned quite a bit researching many of the concerns on this thread. PM me if you want specific info.


Fly safe.

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Deuce... right on, if your not doing something you love your already dead. I retired from helis in the past year but I replaced it with something I've always wanted to do, but I got to say I sort of miss the getting in touch with my mortality on a regular basis thing, It taught me a lot about time and how little of it we really have.



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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.



My honest suggestion to this from my own experience in flying and in life is to get out there and fly as many hours as you can, scare yourself to death then come back and relax.

You will see, you will feel better

it will pass



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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.


Two engines mean twice as many chances at an engine failure.

Good luck.


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All interesting remarks. Definately not alot of time left and life seems like it's passing at an ever increasing rate. Definately, life is good at 110kts flying around like a giant dragonfly. This twin idea is good suggestion ! So full Cat A would be the best. So I guess that rules out the 212. Ha Ha!! Long lining ? .Hold on a second! Don't they call it the dead mans curve ??? . May want to limit exposure to this type of activity in the future. It's a difficult question to answer. I guess I have been lucky but as one poster wrote it's not a question of if but when. Dude that freaks me out!! The comment about the Astar . I would of thought that with the advancing blade having some additional material to pass through before it reaches my nogin ,all the better. And why didn't Eurocopter only NOW put duel hydraulics in the 350. Surprise sur friken prize!! Hey anyone got a 3 million dollar Astar i can fly?.


But seriously it's interesting to read your guys take on the whole thing. I guess we all measure our mortality in different ways. Tell ya having kids makes it much harder to make my such demands.


Thanks for the input fellas carry on.

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I once realized how dangerous it was to work downtown, crossing streets and working in tall buildings, where just any crazy man could drive a car or aircraft into you or your office,So I quit.


I worked in the bush until I realized a tree could fall on my head or I could be eaten by any number of animals., So I stayed in camp.


I cooked while at camp, as nothing can happen to me now. Then I realized how many people there are in camp. What may they do to me.


So I left.




Now I am secure alone and safe...........



What a defeatest attitude......




That is not what living is about!!!!!

Take 'er by the balls and have fun!!!!!!! :punk:



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I would say the "What If's" are the things I keep in the back of my mind. The book, "Fate is the Hunter" stimulates some interesting thoughts. Not a bad read if your looking for a new book. Anyways, I've always kinda figured that if the enjoyment of roaring around this amazing country we live in was taken over by fears of what could happen, I had better start looking for something else to do. The times I do feel nervousness and or fear coming on reminds me to perhaps pay more respect to what I've been so priviledged to be able to do, as well as to wonder if the spidy senses are tingling to wake me up enough to remember that what goes up must come down. Those early morning trips into a sea of mountains with sun just showing itself........(tear)....that and many other things are what make it all worth while.


All this aside........Helicopters and what they do are just plain old fricken cool.


Take er easy folks



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To be honest, I've had congenital hip displacia (1 month traction + half body cast for another 2 months), scarlet fever, 8 car accidents, a stellar motorcycle accident, a broken leg, typhoid, malaria and a stroke (stroke at 29 years old).


Needless to say, I've had to learn how to walk three times in my young-ish life. And no doubt, I was ***stoked*** to receive a healthy pass on my medical, even if TC wants a little more info.


My point is, I've crossed over the horizon line (so to speak) a couple times. And had a lot of work to do when I came back. Years worth of work. And lots of confidence rebuilding.


I can assure you, dying is not that bad. It's coming back that's the b*tch. Rehab sucks, but if you have to go through it, the things you imagine are much worse than what you actually go through. And believe me, you'll be so rich from any experience that forces you to the far edges of yourself that you didn't even know existed.


I have a couple friends in wheel chairs. One guy is a quad. The first quad to climb The Chief.





He can't even sweat because whatever part of him that makes him sweat, was damaged in the accident. For 14 hours, he hauled himself up the side of a rock face, and the guy can't even sweat. Can you imagine?


He'd tell you he'd love to fly a helicopter. And not to be such a f*cking P*ssy. :) And that attitude is everything.


Same with another friend. He was in a heli accident and in a coma, then in the hospital for 7 months. Broken and fractured you name it. This summer, he was out working SAR, flying around in a Cormorant. Says he still has some "shaking up of the world to do..."


A friend once told me: "Pain is pain, suffering is optional."


I'm afraid every day. And I don't even fly yet. Life's a trip, eh?

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