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Author: RandyMains




Nov
16
2015

Electronic Flight Bag...Yeah, in My Dreams

Posted by RandyMains        2 Comments
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...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
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...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
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...]



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



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...]



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



Jul
23
2015

Spies in the Oil Field

Posted by RandyMains        3 Comments
RandyMains

If I were to answer the question as to why I love the helicopter industry so much, I would have to say it’s because of the quirky characters I’ve met and worked with over the years. Characters that immediately come to mind are guys like “Lofty” because of his extraordinary height, “Bambi” because of his doe-brown eyes, a Brit we called “Captain Kleenex” because he had a sinus condition that caused him to leave tissues strewn about all over the cockpit, “Too Tall McCall” because he was short, and an Australian we all called “Trackless” because he was even shorter than Two Tall. (In fact, he was much shorter because his legs were so short his butt would drag behind him and wipe out his tracks, hence the name.) There was also Robert “Don’t call me Bob” because that’s how he introduced himself, “Squeaky Cheeks” because he had an odd walk, a New Zealander we called “Sumo” because he resembled a Sumo Wrestler, a Brit we called “Crusher” because he landed on a load handler hooking up an underslung load on a wellhead in the oil field and “slightly” crushed him. [Read More...]



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



Jun
30
2015

My Two Cents - June 2015 - Communication Breakdown

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RandyMains

The problem with communication is the perception that it’s been achieved. —George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright Boy, was ol’ George right. Communication is central to effective crew resource management. An ambiguous message, whether written or spoken, can lead to fatal consequences. With that thought in mind, one would think airline executives, when drafting memos to flight crews, would take great pains to avoid ambiguity at all cost. Apparently, they don’t. Consider the following 1996 memo distributed to pilots at British Airways in an effort to clarify new pilot role titles: [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents June 2015 Pilot Communication Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



May
20
2015

The Dirty Dozen - May 2015 Issue

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RandyMains

Maintenance engineers and mechanics have known about ‘The Dirty Dozen’ for years. They are the 12 most common human error preconditions or conditions that act as precursors to accidents or incidents for mechanics. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Mechanics My Two Cents Randy Mains The Dirty Dozen
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Apr
23
2015

Field of Dreams

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RandyMains

In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner hears ghostly voices coming from his Iowa cornfield telling him, “If you build it they will come,” meaning he should build a baseball diamond and former members from the Chicago Black Sox would come. Each day for the two months that I worked building a crew resource management instructor’s course, a similar line kept replaying in my head: What if I build it and no one comes? [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management CRM Helicopter Safety My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Mar
23
2015

HEMS SAFETY STORIES

Posted by RandyMains        4 Comments
RandyMains

“The doctor told me I’d never walk again,” former Utah flight nurse Stein Rosqvist told the group with obvious emotion. “I saw that wheelchair being pushed towards me down the corridor and said, ‘That’s definitely not for me.’” Through months of physical therapy by a nurse that would not permit him to say, “I can’t,” Stein walks today. His is just one of the stories I heard during the three-day digital story workshop I attended recently in Denver, Colorado. [Read More...]



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



Feb
23
2015

CRM Tips for the Single Pilot

Posted by RandyMains        3 Comments
RandyMains

Last year, HAI President Matt Zuccaro pushed his safety message, “Land the Damn Helicopter,” reminding us that as a last resort when we’ve run out of options, we have the power to break a potential link in an error chain by simply landing. Research into why helicopters crash isn’t statistically different than other segments of aviation. It is pretty much agreed worldwide that 80 percent of all aviation accidents have an element of human error. Crew resource management (CRM) training can save the day before we need to resort to landing the damn helicopter. CRM, if practiced religiously, will keep your good hands from taking you somewhere your mind hasn’t been. [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management CRM Helicopter Safety Helicopter Training Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth


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