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A Bell 407 repositioning in LZ at the Orange County Convention Center during the HAI fly in. Photo: Lyn Burks


In the end, the points to be covered range


from the giant items like pilot briefings and fire rescue right down to the minutia of making sure that all aircraft fuel vent lines are taped shut and batteries are disconnected.


Now imagine a


checklist with 100 check boxes representing all of the details that must be covered. Now multiply that by 42 aircraft and 42 pilots. Have you ever tried to get 2 helicopter pilots to do one thing? It is kind of like herding cats! Who could possibly get 42 helicopter pilots,


all flying different aircraft, to get with the program in short order in the name of safety? Harold


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL


Summers, that’s who. Mr. Summers, HAI’s Director of Flight Operations, is the wizard behind the curtain when it comes to getting everyone in and out safely. He is tasked with set- ting up the infrastructure and procedures for the pilots to work within during the fly in and fly out and he does it very well.


HAI PRESIDENT SETS THE TONE STRAIGHT AWAY AT


PILOT BRIEFING After all the administrative stuff is out of the


20


way, the Pilot Safety Briefing is the first hoop to jump through if you want to fly a helicopter into the show. This briefing is mandatory and Matt Zuccaro, President of HAI, opens the briefing. His opening appropriately shifts responsibility slightly away from the organization and into the cockpit. He tells the pilots that HAI has done all it can to create a safe environment for flying into the convention center, but the ultimate responsibility for completing the flight safely is in the hands of the pilots. He urges pilots to make conservative decisions and to speak up if there are any safety issues that pop up during the process so that


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