As helicopter systems, engineering and processes continue to get safer, the human component becomes the focus to further improvements in accident rates. Randy Mains shares his 20 CRM Diamonds in this interview.
Randy Mains was 22 years old when he deployed to Vietnam to fly UH-1H Hueys. On return to the US with over 1000 combat flight hours and a Distinguished Flying Cross (Randy shares the story of this in the interview) he found the US helicopter market flooded with other returned aircrew.
A night with a friend over a shared case of Australian beer resulted with Randy flying in Australia on remote outback cattle stations before a stint in PNG.
Later, souring of Iranian international relationships saw Randy leaving a Bell instructor trainer position on the last civil flight out of Iran. Taking up an emergency medical services (EMS) pilot role in Texas then became the start of Randy’s long and continued focus in this part of the industry. It is where much of the focus of his books and CRM training efforts are focused.
In the US the EMS sector seems to have a high proportion of single engine, single pilot VFR/IFR operations compared with twin engine, two pilot IFR operations in other countries. He has had a number of close calls himself including inadvertent IMC (flying into cloud) and approaching to night flare lit sites with overhead wires.
Randy’s later experiences flying in the middle east and simulator check and training with pilots from around the world gave him the chance to see how EMS is done in other countries.
Since then Randy has returned to the US with a focus on reducing the EMS accident rate and with in the helicopter industry in general. Randy is a regular columnist with Rotorcraft Pro magazine, a speaker at medical and helicopter events, author and runs a Crew Resource Management Instructor course focused on helicopters.
Do you have a question for Randy about helicopter crew resource management or about something mentioned in the episode that you want to ask? Be part of the conversation by leaving a comment below.