A Grate­ful Sur­vivor

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Letters -

“How to Sur­vive a He­li­copter Crash” (Dec. 2014/Jan. 2015) hit a per­sonal note for me. As a 20-year vet­eran of U.S. naval aviation, I have re­ceived the train­ing the ar­ti­cle de­scribes. I have also sur­vived an SH-3H Sea King ditch­ing at sea, and the story re­minded me of how crit­i­cal that train­ing is. My “dunker” train­ing was much worse than the ac­tual crash I ex­pe­ri­enced. When I needed to rely on it, the train­ing cre­ated a strong sense of calm, al­low­ing me to re­main in­side a sink­ing he­li­copter un­til it was safe to swim clear. The train­ing is proven to save lives. The au­thor, James Chiles, could be the rea­son some­one sur­vives to goes home to his fam­ily one day.

ROB BIXBY

U.S. Navy (ret.) Jack­sonville, Florida

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