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Friday, October 5, 2012

Bad weather

The best place to be in bad weather is on the ground.  Most people in the industry has had a near escape with death, some live to tell the tale and others are not so lucky.  If you've ever been the position where, the blood drains from you head, your mouth goes dry and your heart rate doubles you may be in mortal danger. If, when you look out the window of the helicopter and all you see is white, you may be in mortal danger. 

 In the past 30 years in the Helicopter business I've lost numerous co-workers and friends to bad weather. What drives people to push the elements?  Some want to get home, some want to do a good job for the customer, some want to be hero's, some don't want to sleep in the helicopter in the middle of the tundra, what ever reason it is, the odds of a potential disaster is increased.

Personally, I think the God complex is one of the main issues when it come to decision making in bad weather.  Nobody thinks they are going to die.  This is especially true for younger people since they don't have the years of wisdom under their belt.  As you get older you come to realize that life is finite and you are one step closer to finding out.  Would I do the same crazy things I did 20 years ago?  Would I take the same chances?  Not likely.  Am I wiser or just a little more afraid, perhaps a little of both.  The decision on bad weather shouldn't be totally left up to the pilot especially if you are a passenger.  There has been times where I've said, "This is not good, we should turn around."  Almost every time the pilot turned around, with relief in his eyes.

Never be afraid to say, NO.

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