Feedback October 2013

By Staff Writer | October 1, 2013
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R&W’s Question of the Month: 

What more needs to be done to improve the safety record of the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) community? What role should organizations like FAA and the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) play in the efforts to reduce accidents?


Heliport AC Drama


I very much enjoyed Lee Benson’s commentary in the May (see page 48, “Heliport Standards: Where the Bears Live”) and July issues (see page 56, “Heliport Rules & Regs: Advising in Circles”) regarding the FAA’s heliport advisory circular. In my opinion, Mr. Benson’s analogy is spot on, though there is a whole lot more to the story than most are aware of.

For better or worse, I have been involved in the heliport AC drama from about every possible angle imaginable for about the past nine years. It has been a long, arduous and oftentimes painful endeavor with less-than-desirable results, compounded by a bunch of non-flying “experts” who think they know best. I am way closer to the whole thing than I ever wanted to be, but it is oh so screwed up.

Name Withheld



Tablet showing a 3D interactive
subcomponent as part of a training

Another Way to Train


I recently read your question in the August issue and wanted to respond. The question was: “Who offers the best courses for Flight training, classroom instruction, maintenance and online training? What about for specialized training such as NVG, ab initio, long line, offshore or HEMS training?” Operations and maintenance training courses that exist today are mostly static, un-intuitive, overwhelming, and disconnected from the real world. They don’t relay information as an instructor would, in a live training session. Live sessions however are expensive, limited in reach, and hard to schedule.

Heartwood’s 3D Interactive Training lets students practice on virtual equipment that is replicated in form and function, allowing them to “learn-by-doing” anytime, anywhere. This, in turn, empowers companies to accelerate user learning, reduce training costs and decrease expensive live training by being visual, interactive and portable.

There is a quick demo video available online at if you’d like to see more. Sikorsky, one of our most progressive customers, is using 3D interactivity in a pioneering way (especially for their international customers).

Raj Raheja


Heartwood Inc.


Up on ‘Flames’

I enjoyed the article “Fighting the Flames” by Mark Robins in the June 2013 edition (page 42). As the pilot of the Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter in the photo featured on pages 42-43, it was particularly interesting.


Brian Novak



Do you have comments on the rotorcraft industry or recent articles and viewpoints we’ve published? Send them to Editor, Rotor & Wing, 4 Choke Cherry Road, Second Floor, Rockville, Md. 20850, USA, fax us at 1-301-354-1809 or e-mail us at Please include a city and state or province with your name and ratings. We reserve the right to edit all submitted material.

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