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Tag: Randy Mains




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...]



Tags: Bell Helicopter Iran Randy Mains Training Safely
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...]



Tags: Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



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...]



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

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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


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