Episode 59 – Save Your Life w/Randy Mains (Part 1)


This could quite possibly be one of our most important podcast episodes to date featuring one of the most interesting persons in our industry.

What is complacency? And how do you know if you are? In this podcast episode, we are joined by Randy Mains, pilot and safety expert, to discuss all things Crew Resource Management (CRM) and the human factors that kill our colleagues. We also discuss how you can arm yourself with the knowledge to make good decisions, break a link in the chain, and ultimately save your life.

The discussion was so in-depth, that we decided to separate it into two parts. This is Part 1.



Randy Mains is the Chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero with an aviation career that spans 50-years having flown more than 13,000 flight hours over four continents. In 1982, as chief pilot for San Diego’s Life Flight program, he set up the first hospital-based IFR program in America.  Also in that year, he became the first recipient of the Golden Hour Salute to Excellence Award recognizing his efforts to promote and further the HEMS concept in America.  Thirty-one years later, in 2013, Randy received the Jim Charlson HEMS safety award recognizing his tireless efforts to bring down the HEMS accident rate in America.

Randy is an internationally trained CRM assessor in the Airline Transport Pilot helicopter cockpit and Level-D flight simulator in Dubai and is a certified CRM instructor/facilitator in Europe and the UK, having been exposed to CRM since 1985.  While flying abroad, Randy has been a CRM assessor in the two-pilot helicopter cockpit for 30 years.

Seeing a need to have a greater impact on HEMS safety back home because of the yearly loss of life in HEMS crashes back home, he returned to the USA to teach and facilitating AMRM courses across America.  In an effort to make a greater impact, he created the first helicopter-specific 5-day CRM train-the-trainer course that  meets the standards and recommendations by FAA, Transport Canada, JAR, EU-OPS, EASA, ICAO, CAMTS and England’s CAA that has drawn attendees from Japan, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, Germany, USA and Austria.

Also a trained Journalist having received his journalism degree from San Diego State University, he writes a column in every issue of Rotorcraft Pro Magazine entitled My Two Cents’ offering his views on current safety issues in the helicopter world.

He is the author five books on HEMS safety.  His first book, a novel based on fact, written in 1989 entitled The Golden Hour, was his effort to try and highlight to the industry in crisis back home, that if the same attitudes and procedures were allowed to continue, more air medical professionals would die.  Sadly, nothing changed, the book became prophetic as if looking into a crystal ball of things to come.

His second book, Dear Mom I’m Alive, detailed his experiences as a combat helicopter in Vietnam that was optioned to be a movie in 2009.  Randy is the author of the AMRM chapter in the second edition of the air medical physicians association textbook Principles and Direction of Air Medical Transport considered one of the best resources for medical directors, crew members and others involved in the field.

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