That is all the more reason for the sheriff to chime in on this thread and clear things up for us.
I'm thinking Chief Doug won't touch this place w a 10 foot poll
But, individual requests/questions? The man is incredibly communicative; a very refreshing trait in today's world of "no comment"
EDIT: if you don't know him, seriously call/meet him...dude you are 1) ex USCG (an institution, as you know, around here and a helo aviator at that) and 2) I think you were also a rescue swimmer? Might be getting you mixed up with another guy? ASTs are a special breed. Heck, part of that program exceeds that of Coronado's BUD/S program.
I didn’t really expect the sheriff to join the group and post. I thought maybe he could read the comments and then respond to me or have one of his deputies comment. I think if he reads the posts he will see that there is confusion and concern coming from numerous people and with that in mind, I think he should comment.
I was an H3 helicopter pilot with the Coast Guard for almost 9 years. I was never a rescue swimmer. The rescue swimmer program came out in about 1985 and I left the Coast Guard in 86. The program made operations much safer for everyone involved. Rather than hovering over a wildly pitching mast in the pitch black of night, you could just have your rescue swimmer jump out and get everything all set up with a trail line.
One of the reasons the rescue swimmer program came along, was because after the retirement of the H3, there would be no more amphibious helicopters. So I flew the last of the military amphibians that actually made water landings. But we were limited to landing in 4 foot seas or less. I suppose there are still some Navy H3s flying around, but they have not done water landings in decades. Same goes for the Marine H3s that have amphibian hulls and fly the President around. It’s amazing that they still fly the President around in such an antique.