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reduce the accident rate even further. If I could offer any advice it would be to try to get the message across that CRM is a radical change in lifestyle. It's some- thing that will take effort on the part of all involved and probably won't come natu- rally, especially in stressful situations. At Continental Airlines it was a central part of our recurrent ground training every year. Additionally, once we ‘got it’ it was the only way we flew, both in the simulator and on the line. In training, there was no such thing as one pilot passing a check ride and the other failing, as sometimes happened in the old days. You were now a team. We used to joke that there is no such thing as ‘Your side of our airplane is about to crash.’

And most importantly if someone speaks up, tell people not to take it personally. There are some super-sensitive egos in this business, and they bruise easily. Team members must learn how to say things without sounding critical, and they also must learn how to accept and encourage such challenges. That's by far the toughest part of this whole CRM concept. As far as your ideas about two crew, IFR currency, and single engine VFR at night: I agree 110%. Last fall things worked out where I flew 16 hours in a Bell 407 with our mutual friend, Tom Einhorn. I really enjoyed that, and realized how much I missed it. I started asking around with some local EMS programs what jobs were available, and what the employment conditions were like. I was soon offered a job flying a single engine helicopter. I really wanted to get back into flying helicopters and was tempted to take the job, but declined the offer. A major factor in my decision being I considered it too dangerous to routinely fly a single engine, single pilot, VFR equipped aircraft at night.

I'm a 21,000-hour pilot with ATPs in both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. I have instrument instructor certificates in both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and many, many hours of night and IFR flying; and yet, I thought that job presented too great a risk. I'm very confident in my skills as a pilot, but at this point in my life I have nothing to prove to anyone.

I wish you the best of luck with your 9

CRM training.

- Mike Brezden Continental Airlines, retired

Mike went on to say that I should not dis- count the power of CRM to reduce accidents in our HEMS industry, and I concur. Even if we do not adopt the Australian model of operating to airline standards, CRM can make a difference to save lives because, af- ter all, CRM is the last line of defense we have for preventing accidents.

Randy Mains is an author of several books, a public speaker, and a CRM/AMRMconsultant who continues to work in the helicopter industry after a long career of

aviation adventure. He currently serves as Chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero. He may be contacted at

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