The president of the Helicopter Association International, Matt Zuccaro, is expanding on his idea of encouraging helicopter pilots to land when trouble brews in the cockpit. A new initiative called Land and Live was launched during Monday’s press day in advance of Heli-Expo’s opening at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
Zuccaro got the idea for the initiative after reading several accident reports that he felt could have been prevented had the pilot made a precautionary landing. The initiative aims to eliminate the excuses pilots make for pressing on despite such safety inhibitors as bad weather, maintenance issues or lack of fuel, even though helicopters can quickly and safely land on nearly any surface. Zuccaro spoke with law enforcement representatives, FAA enforcers and helicopter operators, all of whom strongly supported the idea — a fact Zuccaro hopes will eliminate pilots’ fear of getting into trouble for landing where they had not initially planned to land.
Another potential barrier to making a precautionary landing is mission completion, particularly prevalent in the EMS arena, where pilots may feel pressured to depart or continue flight to transport patients with time critical conditions. Zuccaro hopes the Land and Live initiative will, in his words, “take the activity in the back away from the decision-making process.”
HAI’s public relations and communications director Chris Dancy said the initiative is in the informative stage. The organization plans to develop courses and seminars on the topic and translate the information into other languages. Long-term, HAI also plans to offer material online.
The Helicopter Association International expects another record-breaking Heli-Expo show, which takes place from February 25 through 27. In all, 714 exhibitors have invaded the 650,000-square-foot exhibit hall floor at the Anaheim Convention Center, forcing HAI to move its booth to the hallway. Some 63 mockups and helicopters, 42 of which landed outside the convention center over the weekend, are now on display at the show. HAI expects more than 20,000 attendees to visit the three-day event.
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