Friday, April 19, 2013

Harry Reasoner on helicopter pilots:

The thing is, helicopters are different from planes.  An airplane by it's nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly.  A helicopter does not want to fly.  It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying immediately and disastrously.  There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.  This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot and why, in general, airplane pilots are open, clear eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble.  They know that if something bad has not happened, it is about to.

Harry Reasoner, February 16, 1971
ABC Evening News during the Viet Nam War