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he said. He remembers his partner Tom making a mayday call that they were going in. “I wouldn’t describe what I was seeing as tun-


nel vision, it was more like looking through a straw,” Mark says. He glanced at the instrument panel and noticed the whole #2 engine panel was dead, but the gauges for the number #1 engine seemed nor- mal. “When you’re the pilot with your hands on the controls you can feel the helicopter speak to you. I could tell as I started raising the collective that the ship was responding. I was watching the gauges, and then I realized I haven’t lost both engines, I still have one,” he remembers. Mark realized Tom couldn’t feel what


he


could, so he updated Tom on their situation and Tom revised his Mayday call to Long Beach Tower. Cleared to land on any runway, it seemed for a second that the worst was now behind them. Two mechanics were along for the checkride


and one noticed the oil which was now gushing out of the main rotor gearbox, spilling outside the ship and several gallons pouring inside. “I remember the mechanic coming up on the


ICS. I distinctly remember him saying, ‘You have to land now,’” he recalls. At this point they were less than three minutes out from the airfield. What they didn’t know was they were losing gear box oil at an alarming rate. I remember checking the gauges; I never got a chip light or any indication that we were losing fluids. My partner Tom looked over his right shoulder and could see the oil. “It wasn’t drip- ping,” says Mark, he told me it was “gushing out.” “Just when you thought it was all under con-


trol,” I said. What did you do then? Mark looked immediately under him and to his right side. “I saw houses, wires, everything that


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