Sunday evening a helicopter drowned and none of the five passengers were able to escape.
This was due to the difficulty in releasing the eight strap harness in this off door helicopter.
After the tragic accident in New York on Sunday, Overton says that a pilot’s priority is always safety.
The helicopters used by the aviation unit in Jackson are only five strap seatbelts and even have a quick release .
Inside, there are multiple lights and signals that go off in the case of an emergency but Steven Overton says that one can never be too safe and even encourages passengers to be another set of eyes.
“Safety first foremost, if you see something that’s unsafe, that the pilot may not see right off hand, I would suggest just let the pilot know what’s going on around the aircraft if they don’t see that,” says Overton.
It is also extremely important to pay close attention when the pilot is giving a PAX briefing before the aircraft takes off.
A PAX briefing is an explanation of what to do in the case of an emergency similar to one that you would receive on a commercial airplane.
“Each pilot is actually trained in emergency procedures in each aircraft, and each aircraft also has a pilot operating handbook which gives a recommendation or a specific emergency procedure.
We’re all trained in those procedures and we’ll kind of roughly tell the occupant of the aircraft what to expect if this was to happen,” he says.
Pilots are constantly receiving trainings so that they can do everything they can when an emergency situation comes along.
“I have not seen a tragedy happen and hopefully I never do but we do receive training constantly on emergency procedures and how to operate the aircraft,” says Overton
Overton has not seen any tragic accidents in his three years as a pilot but recommends those who are inexperienced
to always listen to the pilot’s advice and be prepared to do what they say in an emergency situation.