Not many of us will ever be in the circumstances Kevin Mayes faced. But most of us can learn from how he handled them.
Glad to see the update regarding helicopters; they do not necessarily fall like a rock. I used to fly in helicopters quite a bit and had semi-reassuring conversations with pilots about autorotation. As with fixed-wing glides, landing requires a combination of skill and luck. See http://www.copters.com/pilot/autorotation.html
The US Army gives out 12 to 15 Broken Wing Awards annually to pilots for safe autorotation landings: https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-trending/army-aviation-broken-wings-award/
His exploit was truly riveting and impressive, Jim, but I remain curious about the manner that such skills were acquired. You refer to simulating engine failures during training, but does that include the communications with controllers on the ground? Did he have experience as a military aviator or otherwise professional pilot? Perhaps he used software simulators to hone his technique over the years. Beyond that, I have a sense his successful recovery from a such a catastrophic incident is rare among those encountered by your fellow practitioners...
I watched while holding my breath, and when he safely landed, I actually cried. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been. The courage and self control Mayes showed probably saved his life and those of the people he could have crashed on. And the cool way the people he radioed handled the crisis was spectacular.
I got sidetracked on Deb's commentary on "say souls on board," which was fascinating, and somewhat enticing, the feel I got for wandering the country in a small aircraft, while under the watchful eye of ATC.
Incredible. I chipped in, too.