Rotor & Wing International
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We collected your thoughts and views from the past month.

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to your recent Editor’s Note (R&WI, February 2017, “Stovepipes and Big Data,” page 4), the term “stovepipes” has been outdated.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

Rotor Servo Failure Investigation

On the article discussing the S-92 probe (R&WI, February 2017, “S-92 Probe Seeks Tail Rotor Servo Failure Cause,” page 11), it seems that this problem is one that hasn’t caused sufficient damage or loss of life to be corrected at the manufacturer level.

In 1966, I was co-pilot of a CH-37 Mojave being transferred from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to the National Guard in Alabama. About 40 miles east of Little Rock, Arkansas, we experienced a servo failure. We landed safely, and 10 days later we received a replacement cannibalized servo.

Seems to me we could perfect a servo in 50 years of constant use.

Wayne Davis
Enterprise, Alabama

Air Methods’ Proxy Fight

The U.S. air medical market is over-saturated, and payments/reimbursements from healthcare providers especially are down. It’s a tough business model. You will see even more consolidation. I actually expected a company like CHC to merge with Air Methods and match PHI’s model.

Chuck Mahon,
in a comment on

Interesting how this will play out. Air Methods is a good, if not stodgy, company. Everyone would like a bit more bang for the buck here. Running up against well-managed competitors like PHI and others makes maneuvering a bit tricky for air medical helicopter providers, very few of which are able to land on a dime and make change.

Andre Leonard,
in a comment on


It is unwise to think hobbyists will know better than to fly a drone despite the obvious sound of an aircraft approaching.

Is it possible for helicopters to have a cost-effective sensor added to detect the relative distance of drones via the radio frequencies used by their operators? Furthermore, it is likely best to request the drone be set down or give warning by the type of audio used by police helicopters, since neutralizing the drone can also cause an accident.

Local regulation should be encouraged to include fines for drone use while first responders are present without prior air tower permission.

Many questions here for sure, but let’s get the discussion going.

Jesse Rodriguez,
in a comment on

Feedback Flashback - 1978

There is a nationwide shortage of helicopter-qualified A&P mechanics in the U.S. Why? Lack of pay and benefits — the same problem that applies to qualified helicopter pilots. If an A&P mechanic was making as much as a carpenter, bricklayer, plumber, electrician, diesel mechanic or whatever, there would be no shortage of qualified A&Ps. Maybe in the 1980s, the helicopter operators will wake up and see this.

Walter R. Rise
Denver, Colorado