Home' Heliweb Magazine : Heliweb Magazine February 2016 Contents 12 heliweb magazine
If you read my column regularly
—yes, all three of you— you will
notice a recurrent pattern in the
topics I choose to write about.
Mentoring, safety, doing the right
thing, and expressing gratitude. I
often spend a lot of time in what I
call “Game On” mode. If you are
currently reading this with one raised
eyebrow and a confused expression
on your face, allow me to explain.
We often rush through our lives. In
family life that means get up, get your
kids up and ready for school, get them
out the door, work all day, come home,
pick up kids, take them to sports, come
home, get them into bed and then you
might hopefully have some time to
spend with your significant other doing
whatever it is you like to do together.
Sometimes that becomes a routine and
we forget; we forget how lucky we are.
I am thankful for many things, but I’ll get to that.
When I was a police officer, my routine
was not all that far removed from the
uncertain schedules so prevalent in the
aviation world. We don’t work nine -
to-five in the helicopter game — never
have, never will. My family is just
like any other; we laugh, we cry, and
sometimes we get angry with each other
and argue. When you become a police
officer, the reality quickly sets in that
your mortality is a real and evident thing,
and something you will fight to protect.
The same thing goes with being a helicopter
Publisher & Chief Editor
From the desk of
pilot. The point I am getting at is this: When
I would have a disagreement with my wife
early in my career, I would leave the house
huffy at times. If the disagreement was
severe enough, sometimes we wouldn’t
even speak as I left. We always worked
out our differences of opinion eventually,
but then one day an officer I knew was
murdered— just trying to do his job.
He was on a traffic stop and the individual
he pulled over was a wanted felon. Before
he had a chance to even get out of the car,
he was struck by gunfire multiple times.
That incident gave me the pause I needed
to reassess things a little and realize all the
things I have to be grateful for in life. From
that point forward I said to my wife, “No
matter how mad we get with each other,
before I leave this house, I will hug you and
tell you I love you.” We never spoke about
the reason why, but my wife knew; because
any day I walked out that door to my police
car, it could possibly be the last time.
The exact same thing could be said in the
helicopter business. We don’t want to
admit it, but things happen. As pilots, there
are a lot of things to be thankful for: Your
first solo flight, your first rating, your first
paying gig, or even being the pilot that gets
to fly the helicopter that saves someone’s
life that otherwise may not have made it.
All of those things are achievements and
things to be thankful for. In my case at
least, I try not to forget where I came from
and the people that helped me get there.
I am thankful for my old beat partner who
taught me professional empathy as a cop,
and the fine line you have to walk between
kindness and a perceived weakness that
can mean the difference between someone
deciding to take you on in a fight or
choosing to submit without confrontation.
I am forever grateful for that and many
other things that he helped me avoid
in the days of being a rookie cop.
I’m also thankful daily for the health of
my kids and my ever suffering wife, who
holds down the fort as I travel. Aside
from having two kids under the age
of ten in the house, she also teaches
preschool and has the patience of a saint.
Finally, I am thankful for all of you— the
industry that has welcomed and supported
me in so many ways. From answering
every dumb question I had about the
industry in flight school, to where I sit now
writing this editorial. For providing me
with an amazing group of talented writers,
photographers, and an ever-suffering
deputy editor who puts up with me and
my 4,700 new ideas a day. This industry is
awesome, and to you all, I say thank you.
Don’t forget to take the time to think about
what makes you thankful once in a while.
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