I'll admit it: I really dislike helicopter pilots. "Hate" is such a strong word, and I don't really hate anything or anyone. Sorry for the clickbait.
I used to like helicopter pilots...admire them, even. But not anymore. Not since I became one and found out what giant a-holes many of us are. (I know, I know, "Speak for yourself, Bob.")
Over on the "bad" forum there is a thread about University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban visiting a high school to talk to a potential recruit. Coach arrived in an MD Notar. Astute helicopter folks and YouTube watchers will recognize it as one of two helicopters that dried the Bryant-Denny field before a big game back in November. (The other was a 206B.)
Needless to say, the comments from the peanut gallery came quickly.
"Alumni donating the aircraft? Not most folks first choice of an executive helicopter..." sniffed one guy.
Apparently every executive and football coach should be riding around in an S-76 or a 139.
Since the University of Alabama does not own a helicopter, someone undoubtedly lent Nick theirs. Sorry if the 520N does not meet your standard of what an "executive helicopter" should be, bub.
"You'd think he'd take an airplane and drive over to the school. Looked pretty ridiculous, axed me."
Well nobody "axed" you, genius. It's 48 miles from Tuscaloosa to the airport in Birmingham, Alabama. And while the college does own a jet, it really wouldn't have made much sense to use it, would it? Sure, Nick could have borrowed someone's airplane, but then he still would've had to arrange ground transportation. But there's probably a reason he did not. What could it be...?
Some years ago I flew the other helicopter that dried the stadium back in November - the 206. (I've since moved on and it was someone else flying in 2018.) The guy who owns that ship is a huge Alabama fan - owns a box at Bryant-Denny and goes to every game.
One day the boss called me, all excited. "We're flying Nick tomorrow!" he said. He didn't have to say "Nick's" last name. The plan was for us to go to some podunk airport in the state, meet the coach when his jet landed, and then fly him to three high schools where he'd be interviewing prospects. And that's exactly what we did. The helicopter let Nick do in one day what would have taken him two or maybe three.
But yet people just have to criticize.
Not everything is as it seems. In our case, Nick didn't announce to the press that he was visiting the schools, nor did the schools make a big deal about it. It was very low-key. No fanfare, no big turnout, no police, no press. We'd land on the athletic field and I'd be like, "How come there's nobody here to meet us?" Ah, well...
And yes, in Alabama, Nick Saban is a rock star. Considering the season he just had (even though they ultimately lost the Championship to Clemson), and considering the team's consistent performance since Nick took over, that status is well-deserved.