The noise in the back of the heli is difficult to describe, there’s the whupwhupwhup of the blades overhead, of course, but also, and most incessantly, a high pitched whine from the motors. Not wearing hearing protection is a dumb idea and will guarantee you land with a headache.
The headsets that are supplied have mics on them to allow you to chat to other passengers, but they’re notoriously unreliable.
Often your headset is just a very expensive pair of earmuffs.
We resort to sign language, pointing and miming, mugging and gesturing.
I’m guilty of forgetting that not everybody will understand British Sign Language; I’m quite pleased to find that my brain automatically switches to BSL when I want to communicate non-verbally, but I’m not able to comprehend that people won’t immediately understand basic vocabulary.
At prayers one night, Ed receives plaudits for filling his stand-by time with CPD for his team, practicing a standing-take-down onto a spinal board.
Not to be out-done, I do the same, teaching my team and several others members of the crew an essential phrase.