One student however was particularly bright, having taken all of his written tests before his first checkride (out scoring me on all but one!) and flying so good we were just burning the last couple of hours until he was allowed to take his ride. He had me and everyone around him impressed with his flying, aviation knowledge, people skills, and great sense of humor. After passing his private ride we started to fly under the hood and log some cross country PIC. During these looong, looong flights we had some great conversations about not just flying but everything from the military to mixed martial arts. When we were done he'd usually offer to pay for dinner and drinks and we would go out and continue to have a good time. Once we went to his home town and I went to dinner with his parents. I told them how good he was doing and that he had a promising future in the helicopter world.
I would say he was one of my best friends and I only knew him for a little over 60 flight hours.
Friday August 29, 2008 while ferrying a new R44 from Torrance to Illinois, Adam Long died when his helicopter crashed into the woods surrounding Table Rock Lake in MO.
I would be foolish to think that i could fly professionally as a helicopter pilot and not lose a friend at some point in my career but I sure didn't expect it in my first year. They don't really talk about what to do when you lose a student in the FOI's but let me tell you its hard. He was a great person, budding helicopter professional, and a dear...60 hour... friend. Adam you will be missed.
Edited by coanda, 02 September 2008 - 14:10.