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FROM THE DESK OF THE PUBLISHER


IS IT RAINING?


There are times in your life when you hear, or learn something that just sticks with you. I clearly remember a time, many years ago, when my First Sergeant, holding court over a few dozen raw recruits, shared the following bit of wisdom; “You can pour water on my head, but you ain’t gonna make me believe its raining.” In other words, if you think you can pull one over on me, think again, because I’ve seen it all before. It was just last week, while reading an article in the Washington


Post, that old “raining” idiom sprang back to life. The story that got my attention was the announcement that the U.S. Government had just agreed to purchase $380,000,000.00 U.S. taxpayer dollars worth of Russian built MI-17 helicopters for the Afghanistan Air Force. Notwithstanding the point that I believe we have supported the people of Afghani people’s fight against aggression quite strong- ly, this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I understand, and fully support the efforts in Afghanistan. What I have a problem with is not supporting American companies, with American tax dollars, when we find it necessary to make such large purchases. Sikorsky Aircraft, rightfully, protested this deci- sion. Their argument was sound, they had a more than capable alternative (refurbished S-61’s), and the righteous decision was to “keep those dollars at home”. However, the Russian made MI-17 purchase prevailed. No doubt that this decision was much more complicated than reported by the Post. Interestingly enough, the “government official” who was chal- lenged by the Post’s reporter stated, “It would take years for the Afghani pilots to learn to fly American built helicopters.” Feel the drizzle? I can’t help but envision an Afghani pilot getting a little chuckle out of that one. Yet again, the US taxpayers get an oppor- tunity to donate to the global economy with no hope of a return on the investment. Makes me wonder, how many parts and pieces of those MI-17’s are made outside of Russia, or more aptly, in the United States?


MORE SHOWERS


Later in this issue you will find a news release from the FAA, which announced a new initiative, which would require photographs on all pilot certificates. On the surface this seems to be a reasonable step. Didn’t we just finish the transition to plastic certificates? Look a little deeper, and ask, “the point of this is?” Pilots are already required to possess photo identification. Now, over the next three to four years, we are going to replace hundreds of thousands of pilot certificates, simply so we can add the security of a photograph. At least we will be providing a good number of government jobs sup- porting this effort. Better grab the raincoat, this could get ugly.


ROTORCRAFT PIONEERS


This issue brings the conclusion to Brad McNally’s series of fea- tures of the most influential contributors to our industry.


Igor


Sikorsky’s place in history is well known and respected. We are very proud to present a very interesting perspective of Mr. Sikorsky’s life work, featuring an exclusive interview with his son, Sergei. I’d like to thank Brad for his excellent work this past year. The level of research, and quality of journalism have certainly set the bar high. Thanks Brad.


All the Best,


RON WHITNEY PUBLISHER


PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Ron Whitney


ron@rotorcraftpro.com


ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Darian Weaver


darian@rotorcraftpro.com


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Williams


rwilliams@rotorcraftpro.com


ONLINE EDITOR Lyn Burks


lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com


VICE PRESIDENT/CFO Clay Branum


clay@rotorcraftpro.com


VICE PRESIDENT/CAO Rick Weatherford


rick@rotorcraftpro.com


DIR. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Butch Cole


butch@rotorcraftpro.com


MANAGER, ONLINE ACCOUNTS Lynette Burks


lynette@rotorcraftpro.com


CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dana Maxfield


dana@rotorcraftpro.com


CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Pam Fulmer


pam@rotorcraftpro.com


LEGAL COUNCIL Casey Duncan


casey@rotorcraftpro.com


RISK MANAGEMENT Steve Lawrence


steve@rotorcraftpro.com 3 ROTORCRAFTPRO.COM


Rotorcraft Professional®


is published twelve times a year and


mailed out on or around the 20th of the month being covered by Oak Mountain Media, LLC, 3100 Lorna Road, Suite 201, Hoover, Alabama 35216. Rotorcraft Professional®


ified subscribers. Non-qualified subscription rates are $57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada and $84.00 per year for foreign sub- scribers (surface mail). U.S. Postage paid at Birmingham, Alabama and additional mailing offices. Rotorcraft Professional®


is distributed to qualified readers in the


helicopter industry. Publisher is not liable for all content (including editorial and illustrations provided by advertisers) of advertisements published and does not accept responsibility for any claims made against the publisher. It is the advertiser’s or agency’s responsibility to obtain appropriate releases on any item or individuals pictured in an advertisement. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher.


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Oak Mountain Media, LLC, 3100 Lorna Road, Suite 201, Hoover, AL 35216


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