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From the Editor’s Desk
I am not well known for keeping my opinions to myself. Those who have known me for any
appreciable length of time will be quick to tell you that I usually call it like I see it, sometimes to
a fault. I am not politically correct, by choice. Actually I believe we squander a great deal of time
tap dancing around the real meat of an issue instead of getting to the facts and dealing with it. I love
a debate, especially when I’m right. Don’t misunderstand, I have been wrong, many,
many times. The best part of being wrong is that I always come away from the de-
bate having learned something. The best part about being right is when the feedback
you receive is overwhelming. That was just the case following an editorial I wrote
concerning HR978–T he Helicopt er Medical Services Patient Safety, Protection and
Coordination Act. I won’t get into the actual numbers other than to say we only re-
ceived one response that took issue with my position on this piece of legislation, one.
HR978 and its Senate sister SB848, which was introduced by Clair McCaskill of
Missouri, are both sitting quietly in their respective subcommittees. Neither bill has
gained any steam, other than under the hats of those who oppose it. If there is any
grassroots movement in support of these bills I can’t find it. By all appearances
these bills will either die or be reintroduced during the next legislative session.
Ron Whitney
Anything we can do, legislatively or otherwise, to improve safety should be done in a manner
Managing Editor
that addresses the safety issue alone. It is no great secret that the industry has room for improve-
ment. The FAA, operators and primary associations should be given the opportunity to refocus
their efforts and “get to the meat of the issue.”
Papillon Helicopters
Contributing Editor Lyn Burks recently visited Papillon Helicopters; one of the largest tour
operators in the U.S. Lyn had the opportunity to take a comprehensive look at the day-to-day op-
eration of the company and has written a very interesting and informative article. As you can see
from our cover shot the views are nothing short of spectacular.
Recently WxWorx introduced a new, online weather service. Contributing Editor Tom Hughes
put the new service through its paces and submits an unbiased report. WxWorx provides the data,
which makes the XM weather line of services.
Hot Topic
As long as I can remember, the subject of pilot flight/duty time, rest periods and fatigue have always
been a topic of debate. This month we bring an update of the FAA’s position and a review of actions taken
over the recent past. Several past issues of RPM have included articles addressing fatigue and crew en-
durance. Rumor has it that the subject is once again gaining a lot of interest at the highest levels of
not only the FAA, but industry and associations as well. Study after study has reached every conceivable
conclusion. It is time again to “get to the meat of the issue” and truly affect some realistic change to the
current practices.
Best Regards,
Ron Whitney
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