Honeywell Helo Pilots Share Love of Flying – Part 1

August 15, 2016 | Author: T.J. Pope

Once a helicopter pilot, always a helicopter pilot. As we celebrate World Helicopter Day, five Honeywell Aerospace employees – all current and former helicopter pilots – share a few thoughts on the art and science of flying these unique and versatile aircraft.

TJ Pope, Flying with the Indiana Air National Guard

“No offense to fixed-wing pilots, but flying a helicopter is a lot more challenging and takes a lot more skill,” said TJ Pope, who works for Honeywell’s aircraft lighting business in Urbana, Ohio. “For starters, you have to use both feet and both hands to fly. It takes a unique skill set … and a certain temperament to fly helicopters, especially in wartime.”

Pope should know. A West Point graduate and Army Black Hawk pilot who flew in Iraq, Germany and at Ft. Hood, Texas, he’s still flying helicopters for the Indiana Air National Guard.

“One of my most vivid memories occurred during a mission over downtown Baghdad, transporting a team of Navy Seals. One of my engines caught fire and we had to turn around and head back to base. It was a pretty stressful situation, but we made it back just fine.”

“Ever since then, when I run into a problem at work or in my private life, I remind myself ‘At least my butt isn’t on fire!’”

Pope’s day job involves working with Honeywell customers – including military customers – to deploy lighting solutions. “I’m passionate about aviation and I feel strongly about the Honeywell Aerospace mission. I’m having a great time and doing important work for Honeywell and our customers. But I still love being in the air!”

Read Honeywell Helo Pilots Share Love of Flying – Part 2

TJ Pope

T.J. Pope

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