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MENTORSHIP
Why Do We Eat Our Young?
By Ron Whitney
Helicopter pilots are no different than
members of any other profession. They,
like the others, are human, process oxy-
gen, and possess an ego which drives
them to believe “I’m better than so and
so.” I call this the “My daddy can beat up
your daddy” syndrome.” “Look at
me…”.
I am not, by any stretch of the imagi-
nation, an expert on the human condition.
I do, however, believe that we have a re-
sponsibility to insure that those who come
into this profession behind us deserve the
benefit of our great wisdom. That may
seem to be an egotistical statement in and
of itself, but hear me out.
Not too very long ago I overheard a
statement, from a very highly experienced
pilot, which compelled me to stick my
nose in uninvited. This is not unusual for
me. At any rate, the statement was this;
“Before you know it all we’ll have around
here are a bunch of Robbie guys.” For
those of you not in the profession the term
“Robbie guy” refers to those who have re-
ceived their training through civilian
schools, flying the Robinson made heli-
copters. I, for one, have a great deal of
respect for the folks who became heli-
copter pilots through the military, and
served, during the Viet Nam era. These
guys earned it, the hard way. But I just
couldn’t help it, and commented, “Hey
Joe (not his real name), let me ask you
something, which type of helicopter do
you feel was more challenging to fly, re-
cip or turbine?”
“Recip,” he replied. The look on his
face, as well as the inflection in his tone
clearly indicated he thought I was a moron
for asking such a stupid question.
“Well, do you have any recip time?”
“Of course, (chest puffed out, chin
high) I flew 47G’s out here, 5000+
hours.”
“Oh, by the way, are you a CFI (Certi-
fied Flight Instructor)?”
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