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RCP0110_0_Hangar Talk 2/15/10 5:01 PM Page 11
on me; I could not imagine what that had survival vest melted to his flight suit. As Army Safety Center.
to be like for him. Toward the end of our for Paul; a few days after this extraordi- If you were to finish reading the above
reunion I asked Paul if he would agree to nary night everyone in our unit was as- paragraph and conclude that the presenta-
let us make him the subject of one of our sembled for a meeting that was to be tion of a “Safety Coin” didn’t quite mea-
Pilot Profiles. The reluctant hero, as ex- attended by the Commanding General of sure up to the standard expected of such
pected, declined, that was just his way. It Ft. Rucker, MG Rudolph Ostovich. At heroic actions, you would not be alone.
was a year later, when I informed Paul this meeting the full details of the event Paul Richtmyer acted the way you would
“I’m just going to write it anyway”, that were detailed and MG Ostovich presented expect him to, just kind of grinned and
he agreed to answer a few questions. As Paul with a “Safety Coin” from the U. S. went quietly about his business.

is Paul’s practice, some things he’ll an-
swer, some he won’t. I respect that.
Paul Richtmyer is a retired U.S. Army
Warrant Officer who holds a Commercial
Instrument Rotorcraft ticket. He has flown
in excess of 4500 hours, of which a little
over 1100 is night vision goggle time. His
hometown is Longwood, Florida; he is
married and currently is employed as an
EMS Pilot with Air Methods.
EDUCATION: Embry Riddle Aeronautical
University, BS, Professional Aeronautics
with a minor in Aviation Safety.
MILITARY EXPERIENCE: 5 years with the
Airborne Infantry (2/75th Rangers, 82nd
Airborne Division), 16 years in Army Avia-
tion (Pilot, Safety Officer, Instructor Pilot,
Standardization Pilot).
AIRCRAFT FLOWN: TH-55A, UH-1, OH-
58A/C, OH-58D, and BH-407, AS 350
HOBBIES: Fishing, dirt and road motorcy-
cles.
MOST MEMORABLE FLIGHT: Catching on fire
at refuel
INSTRUCTOR WHO MADE THE MOST DIFFER-
ENCE: They all had an impact; I learned
something from each one.
If you could share one bit of advise to a
new pilot, what would that be….”Think be-
fore you act, don’t get overwhelmed, and
manage your cockpit workload.”
I suppose I would be remiss if I didn’t in-
clude an appropriate end to this story, com-
plete the “after action” report if you will.
Well, the student who caught fire that night
survived and went on to graduate Warrant
Officer Flight Training. Good news for
him, the safety equipment, nomex flight
suit, gloves, flight helmet all worked as
promised. His only lingering injuries were
to the unexposed skin areas and second de-
gree burns around his torso, where the nylon
HELI-EXPO BOOTH #3835
www.ROTORCRAFTPRO.com • February 2010 11
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