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Author: RandyMains




Jul
22
2016

Training Safely

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RandyMains

I’ve been a flight instructor in the military, a senior instructor for Bell Helicopter in Iran teaching pilots how to be instructor pilots, head of training and a flight examiner for 13 years while working for the Royal Oman Police Air Wing in the Sultanate of Oman with British, American and Australian pilots and a type-rating instructor and type-rating examiner in the Bell 412EP and Bell 212 while working for Abu Dhabi Aviation. While in Abu Dhabi, I trained and examined airline transport pilots hailing from more than 20 countries around the world. In my 47-year and 13,000-hour flying career I have developed habits I use to keep us safe while training that I will pass along to you to, hopefully, keep you safe. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Jun
20
2016

The Evolution of CRM by Randy Mains

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RandyMains

In the 1960s and ‘70s a disease seemed to strike the airline industry that caused airliners to crash for no known reason. NASA called a “Resource Management on the Flight Deck” workshop that identified human error as the main cause of several high-profile accidents. NASA’s research uncovered that from 1968 to 1976 there were 60 airliners that crashed due to elements of human error. Researching back further through the Boeing archives to 1940, NASA discovered that four out of five accidents—80 percent—had an element of human error. Since that workshop, six generations of CRM have emerged. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



May
23
2016

Wishy Washy

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RandyMains

Of the ten aircraft commanders in my platoon in Vietnam it was generally agreed upon by the other peter pilots that Bernie Nivens was the most difficult aircraft commander to fly, mainly due to the fact that he’d been in Vietnam five months and shot down twice giving rise to his nickname “Magnate Ass”. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Apr
25
2016

Voice for the Voiceless

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RandyMains

It certainly wasn’t my intention to be on drugs when I addressed FAA regulators at the “Meet the FAA Regulators” session at HAI Heli-Expo 2014. Two hours prior to that talk, I literally couldn’t walk. My back suddenly went out causing excruciating lower back pain, something that occurs every three years or so due to years of competitive tennis and decades in the cockpit. Still, I needed to tell the regulators that they missed a real opportunity to draft meaningful new rules to stop the unacceptable HEMS accident rate. Throwing a mix of over-the-counter painkillers down my throat, I gingerly made my way to the convention center. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Mar
25
2016

Another All Too Familiar Headline

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RandyMains

On the 1st of January every year since 1980, exactly one-year after I began flying helicopter air ambulance from the rooftop helipad at Hermann Hospital in Houston, I created a folder on my computer entitled, EMS CRASHES. When a HEMS crash occurred that year I would add the details. I developed this practice each year because I could see very early-on in my helicopter air ambulance career how dangerous flying an air medical helicopter was. Here’s the sad part: In 36 years I have NEVER had an empty folder at the end of a year. Does that shock you? It should. In fact I hope it enrages you. Sadly 2016 will be no different because on March 26th I woke up to the following headline: [Read More...]



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Feb
22
2016

Risk Resource Management—The Not-so-New CRM

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RandyMains

I’m going to give you a simple mental tool to keep you safe: Risk Resource Management (RRM). It’s a tool Chesley Sullenberger used for 14 years before he famously landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River. It’s also a tool he instructed his students to use when he taught crew resource management at US Airways. It’s a tool you can use in your helicopter to make better decisions, whether you’re flying single-pilot or multicrew. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Nov
16
2015

Electronic Flight Bag...Yeah, in My Dreams

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RandyMains

Occasionally fate (sometimes luck) steps in to break a link in an error chain, serving to protect us from ourselves. That’s what happened to me in August 1974 while ferrying a Hughes 300C 300 miles, from McArthur River Cattle Station in the Northern Territory of Australia to Mt. Isa, for the aircraft’s scheduled 100-hour inspection. I’d been flying over parched, featureless landscape for 30 minutes; each minute becoming more and more perplexed because nothing I saw outside fit my woefully inadequate map. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Oct
20
2015

Why I Stayed On As a HEMS Pilot

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RandyMains

Children often wanted to interview me or one of the other two Life Flight pilots for papers they were writing in school. Many times, it was hard to live up to the lofty image they had of you. But the adulation didn’t come from just kids. At least once a week someone would stop one of us in the U.C. San Diego Medical Center hallways or the hospital cafeteria and thank us for, in their words, “the wonderful job you’re doing,” or “the humane service you provide,” or most likely for our personal contribution for saving the life of their friend or loved one. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Sep
24
2015

To Save A Life

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RandyMains

I’ve flown my share of dramatic life-saving helicopter missions in my 45-year aviation career. I’ve even put myself in harm’s way to save the lives of four soldiers pinned down by enemy fire in Vietnam. The most harrowing rescue to date didn’t occur while at the controls of a helicopter, rather it was a byproduct of having been a helicopter air ambulance pilot. The split-second decision I made that day held consequences too dire to contemplate, as I could have easily landed in a Middle Eastern jail charged with murder. [Read More...]



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Aug
24
2015

But We’ve Always Done it This Way

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RandyMains

Has anyone ever said to you, “But we’ve always done it this way”? It’s a complacency trap that once held the potential for dire consequences for five of us employed as HEMS pilots for the king of Saudi Arabia. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth


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