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By Randy Mains ARE YOU A GOOD ROLE MODEL?


ABOUT A YEAR AGO A PILOT ATTENDING ONE OF MY 5-DAY CRM INSTRUCTOR COURSES


ASKED


ME, “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?” HE PLAYED


A YOUTUBE CLIP


THAT MADE MY BLOOD TURN TO ICE. MICHAEL FARIKH, A HIGHLY RESPECTED RUSSIAN PILOT WHO ACCOMPLISHED MANY


GREAT


THINGS FOR CIVILIAN HELICOPTER AVIATION IN HIS COUNTRY, POSTED IT. ONE ARTICLE PUBLISHED JUST AFTER HIS DEATH CALLED FARIKH “THE GODFATHER OF RUSSIAN HELICOPTER AVIATION.”


The clip the person showed me was titled “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds.” Farikh posted several similar clips,    Limitations—IMC chilling to me.


Auto,” all equally


In the initial clip, “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds,” Farikh purposefully enters IMC conditions in a Robinson then covers         very experienced ATP pilots lose spatial orientation in similar conditions in the Level-D simulator I operated in Dubai. That is why I could not suppress a deep sense of dark foreboding while watching 


In 2016, Farikh tragically lost his life while piloting an R66 on an Arctic expedition when he crashed into terrain during severe IMC conditions.


The report


stated that Farikh set off in a three-ship formation. The other two aircraft diverted to Sabetta while Farikh continued on to check the landing zone for visibility.


10 July/Aug 2017


      occupation, gender, race, nationality, or creed. All one needs to enter the competition is an innate blindness to


Given all his vast accomplishments, and there are many, Farikh had to be an


 as an example to other helicopter pilots who possibly wanted to be just like him.


When I commented on this IMC video on my professional Facebook page, I received a direct message from the director of flight safety for Robinson Helicopters, Bob Muse. He gave me his phone number and we had a congenial half-hour chat. He told me, “Michael was a really really great guy.         have liked him.”


 experience being a really great guy and


         concern me greatly because other


 


Bob replied, “Yeah, I asked Michael to 


There is no shortage of people “GoPro- ing” themselves into Darwin Award territory. The Darwin Award is bestowed on people who have done something idiotic to either sterilize themselves or kill themselves, thus ensuring that the genes responsible for allowing them to  are taken out of the gene pool, thus 


see the consequences of their actions. One could rightly say: folly knows no prejudice.


There seems to be stiff competition for the Darwin Award in helicopter aviation these days. For reasons I cannot fathom, pilots think it is totally cool to “GoPro” themselves into Darwinian territory. In aviation, these folks often are referred to as “cowboys.” In many cases, they knowingly seemingly unaware that they could quickly lose it and thus receive their Darwin Award grave marker.


I am appalled at the sense of


      rules, regulations, and SOPs when I      


     IMC conditions. And by their actions, they are seemingly proud about it. Let  this is a cool thing to do: Your actions are unprofessional and impress no one, 


One clip on YouTube shows an R44 scud running at about 100 feet in really crappy weather. You can hear the  visibility, man.”


At one point the student (finally) says to the instructor, “This is very uncomfortable now.”


  me literally squirm in my seat. Trees were passing by at nearly their level as


 


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