Coming up in August, I have the terrifying opportunity to take a helicopter ride down into the Grand Canyon (it’s an integral part of my two friends’ Vegas wedding).
When I say “opportunity” I mean “Oh my God is that safe?” I’m just starting to fly — in airplanes — with a relaxed white-knuckle grip on the tray table in front of me. But helicopters? Like in ‘Nam?
I decided to do some Interweb searchings to still my beating heart. Surely, helicopters are extremely safe contraptions to routinely defy the laws of physics like they do. I tried googling “helicopter safety.”
Don’t try this at home. I landed at www.helicoptersafety.org, and this is the Web banner that greeted me:
There are a few problems with this Web banner. Perhaps you can spot them, “Where’s Waldo” like.
First and foremost in my mind, was that the helicopter pictured is not in the air. And it is not safe on a landing pad, either. It appears to be “resting” on the surface of a lake, which is not the optimal end result of my preferred landing procedure.
Next is the “Y” in “Helicopter Safety.” The “Y” has fallen off the word “Safety,” and is cracked in half. Helicopters, apparently, do not put the “Y” in “Safety.”
And lastly, but certainly not least, is the banner’s tagline: “Let’s Stay Alive!” Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the sentiment. In fact, this is a rousing affirmation of just the thing I want to do on my helicopter journey. But I’d rather staying alive be more of a given, and not so much a lofty goal.
I foolishly proceeded past the banner to the rest of the site, which consists almost entirely of botched helicopter landing videos, YouTube style. Botched helicopter landing videos are immensely captivating to someone afraid of botched helicopter landings (OK, we could crash this way. . . or like that . . . interesting . . .), but have sort of the opposite effect of what I was looking for.
After watching the videos, the Web banner makes total sense to me.
4 Responses to I’m Not Reassured
Lucky you… I always wanted to take a ride on a helicopter. I have to make do with them flying past my building…
Helicopters are pretty safe… as long as you resist the temptation of turning off the fan when you’re feeling cold.
I get vertigo when I look over the side of a three-storey building from its rooftop. Helicopter into GRAND CANYON will really test me. You know what they say… what doesn’t kill you, should at least help you lose consciousness.
I’m sure those helicopters are perfectly safe. How could they afford the insurance to take folks on tours if not? Have you signed a waiver of liability yet? How many pages is it and how small is the print? You are thinking about this way too much. Sit back and enjoy the ride. By the way, can I have your hot wheels if you die in a fiery crash?
jk. luv u
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