Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Navy "counsels" life-saving pilots

This is unbelievable...
Two Navy helicopter pilots were reminded of the importance of supply missions after delivering their cargo and then rescuing 110 hurricane victims in New Orleans instead of immediately returning to base, the military said Wednesday.

One of the pilots was temporarily assigned to a kennel but that was not punishment, said Patrick Nichols, a civilian public affairs officer at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
The story goes on to detail their flights:
The two air crews picked up a Coast Guard radio call that helicopters were needed for rescues in New Orleans, said Lt. Jim Hoeft, another Navy spokesman. They were out of radio range to Pensacola, so they decided to fly their helicopters to New Orleans and join the rescue effort without permission.

It took only minutes for the H-3 helicopters to fly to New Orleans, where Udkow's crew plucked people off rooftops. Shand landed his helicopter on the roof of an apartment building where more than a dozen people had been stranded. When he returned to get more, two crew members entered the building and found two blind residents and led them to the helicopter.
One of the pilots has been reassigned and is now "in charge of a temporary kennel in Pensacola for pets of military personnel who had been evacuated from hurricane-stricken areas." But it's not a punishment, really...

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