Reader feedback cover image

Reader feedback cover image

R&WI receives troves of comments and feedback on a daily basis — and we listen! From points regarding drones or air traffic control privatization, nothing was left ignored. In fact, it's one way we develop our story ideas for upcoming issues and online articles. Here are just some of the highlights.

Could Drones Replace Police Helicopters?


These “hobby-style” drones might have some utility in certain tactical situations, but the idea of them replacing helicopters for range and endurance would require a military-grade drone such as a Predator. Unfortunately, that type of drone would not be able to follow a typical pursuit on city streets with all the turns and erratic maneuvers. - Mike Kennedy, San Diego, California

Just watched a 48-minute, high-speed pursuit filmed by a police helicopter. That won’t be happening with a battery-powered quadcopter any time soon. - Jon Dungan, Kansas City, Missouri

I think people overestimate a drone’s range, endurance and capability. - Tim Ferrill

A better solution to drones — the Magni M24 gyroplane, with lower acquisition/operation costs than helicopters with safety and 3-plus hours of endurance. When lives of officers are at risk, I don’t trust an airborne robot with a camera when it is possible to have “real eyes!” - @Wingman888

Cylinders of Excellence

In response to your recent Editor’s Note (R&WI, February 2017, “Stovepipes and Big Data,” page 4), the term “stovepipes” has been outdated. I remember working for a government office earlier in my career when the director announced his desire to use lessons learned and process improvement to review our processes and remove or replace all stovepipes for greater efficiency and customer communication.

Needless to say, many welcomed that direction and we dutifully began our new project. We faced many obstacles, including getting folks out of their comfort zones and middle managers who thought, “If it ain’t broke ... .” In short order, we announced the completion of our duties. The stovepipes were removed and replaced with what we now call “Cylinders of Excellence.”

Kurt Northrup
Warner Robins, Georgia

ATC Privatization in US

Regarding your item on the Trump Administration’s air traffic control privatization support (“White House Calls for ...,” March 17, 2017), making such a move in one of the most important areas of air-related security would be absurd. In ATC, privatization would result in rules, regulations, proper controls, monitoring, safety and security going out the window.

In a poll I once saw, more than 45% of pilots like to go out of their way to not talk to air traffic control (ATC), and 65% do not do standard radio callouts when out of ATC areas, which is like flying blind.

Natasha Munro,
in a Facebook comment

A Magnificent 50-Year Issue

What a keeper the May/June 2017 R&WI issue is! I particularly appreciated your reprise of selected R&WI covers in the first few pages of the issue.

We no longer live in Pensacola, Florida, but I believe the U.S. Navy is still flying the same TH-57 ‘copters on which I learned how to hover in 1970. If only I were 30 years younger, I’d be an Osprey pilot today.

Time moves on, the helo industry adapts to challenges. I wish future U.S. Marine Corps student aviators the same good experiences that we had on the training fields (and the beaches) of northwest Florida.

And of course, we all read every page of each R&WI issue.

Jack Bowdle

Congratulations on 50 great years of publication.

I commenced my helicopter operations in 1963, Lake Tahoe Helicopters, Inc. and received your publication each and every year from 1967 to present. I am the proud owner/reader of every publication you folks have published and perhaps have one of the finest collections of your publications and helicopter history. I have a Hiller Corp. helicopter, having owned and operated most of its ships through the years as well as other wonderful ships the industry has provided, with much success.

Job well done and look forward to more of the same as long as you publish. I will read and enjoy your valued contribution to the helicopter industry.

Ed Court
Gardnerville, Nevada

Great issue with a balance between history and the future as well as hardware and software.

I think that the longevity of R&WI is amazing, as it is hard to recall any magazines basically devoted to helicopters lasting more than a few issues. Probably the only one (and nowhere close) was a U.K. publication, Helicopter World, that ran from April 1958 to at least August 1971.

I do have a comment on Roger Connor’s article (R&WI, May/June 2017, “We’ve Come a Long Way") in particular that concerns scheduled air transport. He has a parenthetical note on page 23, “Most European scheduled helicopter airline services had already collapsed by the early 1960s.” I mostly agree with what he said, but he should have mentioned the BEA (and later iterations of the same company) service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly in England. It operated continually from May 1964 to November 2012 and only stopped then as the heliport was to be developed for other uses. Having said that, it now seems likely that a similar operation may start later this year.

John M Davis
Wichita, Kansas

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