By Staff Writer | November 1, 2015
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Disaster Response

In regards to your feature on Katrina (“Disaster Response: What’s Changed?“ R&WI, September 2015, page 22), not enough has changed.

The article revived a point about the need for hoists on emergency-response helicopters. About two weeks after the disaster, I rode on a U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk that landed at a temporary helipad set up in a parking lot in Bay St. Louis (or maybe Waveland). The perimeter was lined with wrecked cars, and set up in the lot was a mobile six-bed hospital with an operating room in a semi tractor-trailer.


The trailer was from North Carolina, but since it had no helipad provisions, we landed there once in daylight and once at night, coming in over the utility lines on poles and guiding at night on four, one-gallon bottles of water with glow sticks floating in them.

I sure hope the university, if it still has this mobile hospital, has thought about taking some equipment along next time to set up a decent helipad. Lighting would be nice.

During the day, a medic who had fallen off the semi had a back injury, so he had to be evacuated to a real hospital for tests. At night, we flew over New Orleans, where there were still fires on the ground from leaking natural gas, and found nobody needing any help. But the flight over the long causeway over a lake into the city was eerie because highway sections were down, yet cars were marooned on the parts still standing.

David Hughes
Burke, Virginia

Degrees of Aviation

Excellent article by Mike Hangge (“Six Degrees of Army Aviation,” R&WI, September 2015, page 50). Respect, kindness and consideration of others seem to be lost traits in this world of pushing and shoving to achieve our own selfish goals. We really do forget that our actions influence others—positively or negatively—even when we think nobody is watching.

His writing reminds us we can sometimes fall into that “ugly American” syndrome even to our fellow citizens.

His unspoken words of “be all you can be” also remind me of why I was proud to serve this wonderful country for almost 32 years.

Terry Lee
U.S. Army CW5 (Retired)


I found your article “The Hangman Cometh?” ( R&WI, October 2015, page 38) interesting. The NVG neck lanyard has always irritated me.

My understanding is that the neck cord’s only function is to hold unmounted NVGs. I also think a set of NVGs dangling around my neck during a crash could pose a hazard in itself.

If the goggles were to detach during a crash, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Maybe it’s time that we rethink the neck cord and do away with it completely.

Ron Smith
Plainfield, Illinois


October 2015’s “Top Cover” includes images of an EVO 252 and a split ear piece. We mistakenly omitted Helicopter Helmet, LLC’s credit for them.

September 2015’s “The Collector” misidentified the first-production SA365N, which Eurocopter donated to the The Helicopter Museum, as a Sycamore. We regret the errors.

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