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RPMN: If you were not in the helicopter industry, what else would you see yourself doing?


That’s difficult to answer since I’ve been on, in, or around a helicopter since I graduated from high school. When I was 17, I seem to recall thinking I was going to move to California and work on a fishing boat. I’m really glad that plan didn’t work out.


RPMN: What do you enjoy doing on your days off?


My family has moved and traveled for my career a lot, which has made us very close. They are my best friends, and we are all usually together cooking, taking the dog for long walks by the sea, and enjoying Finland’s wonderful weather.


RPMN: What is your greatest career accomplishment to date?


When I look back over the past 25 years in aviation, some of my greatest career accomplishments have been during my time with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation working with some of the most talented mechanics, pilots, and engineers on many projects and programs. Absolute highlights of my career were: working on


programs such as the U.S. Army’s UH-72 Lakota at the West Point Military Academy, supporting the Army’s mission and being the chief program maintenance test pilot for the Sikorsky LUH program; managing a hand-picked team of technicians and engineers in Sweden for three years supporting the Swedish Air Force UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters; playing a role in the engineering and development of the VH-92 Executive


Transport Helicopter


Program for the U.S. Marine Corps; and supporting the Royal Canadian Air Force as a CH-148 Cyclone field service representative in Canada.


RPMN: Have you ever had an “Oh, crap” moment in a helicopter? Can you summarize what happened?


I would not call them “Oh, crap” moments, but definitely a few “that could have ended badly” moments. I have been fortunate that none were serious enough to cause any damage or injury.


RPMN: If you could give only one piece of advice to a new helicopter pilot, what would it be?


Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Asking for help is a sign of


professionalism and understanding your own limits. Admit to and talk about your mistakes, so that you and everyone around you can learn from them.


RPMN: In your view, what is the greatest challenge for the helicopter industry at this moment in time?


The technological advances and capabilities of today’s glass cockpits are astounding and sometimes can be overwhelming. There are many challenges facing the industry today, and one of these is the ability for the crews of today’s aircraft to be able to perform their training safely and effectively. Until recently, most commercial helicopter flight simulators have been limited to type-rated aircraft, or military aircraft applications. We are now starting to see light and medium twin and single-engine helicopter training in full- flight simulators with the type of training that used to be reserved for the larger helicopter types. I think this is a move in the right direction for the industry.


Do you know someone who would be a good subject for Meet a Rotorcraft Pro? Email your suggestion to the editor-in-chief:


lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com rotorcraftpro.com 13


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