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“Oh, yeah, could I?” “Of course.”


I bent over and scooped the boy up in my arms and placed him in the cockpit. His body seemed all bones and no fl esh.


For about 15 minutes he asked excited questions, which I answered while I pointed out the various instruments to him. Then I lifted him back into his wheelchair and the nurse rolled him away.


The next morning there was a note in my mailbox in the dispatch center signed by the nurse I’d met in the hall. It read:


“Tommy could not stop talking about the helicopter and meeting you. He has not been this happy in a long, long time. You see, he has leukemia and his parents have abandoned him. They just can’t take it. He


told me tonight before he saw you that he wanted to die because no one wants him. You made his night. God bless you.”


I was standing with the note in my hand when my radio and beeper sounded the alert tone: “Life Flight One, respond for Black Mountain for a hang-glider accident, map coordinates to follow.”


Keying the mic, I brought the radio to my lips: “Roger Life Flight One. On the way.”


I placed the note in the pocket of my blue fl ight suit and bolted out of the dispatch center to meet the 5-minute liftoff time. The doctor and nurse were just reaching the elevator to join me.


It was 9:03 a.m. on a sunny San Diego morning.


Randy Mains is an author, public speaker, and a CRM/AMRM consultant who works in the helicopter industry after a long career of aviation adventure. He currently serves as chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero.


He may be contacted at: randym@oregonaero.com


rotorcraftpro.com


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