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HELICOPTER AIR SERVICE PROGRAM 239 Senator MONRONEY. We are privileged to have had you here. Our next witness is the man who flies us all, a great organization called the Air Line Pilots Association ALPA. They have long been friends of this committee and have been responsible for many of the innovations that have taken place in aviation during the past 10 to 15. Mr. Charles H. Ruby, the president of the Air Line Pilots Association is with us today. We are happy to have him here, because I know he has a great contribution to make in anything that his group is willing to testify upon. STATEMENT OF MR. CHARLES H. RUBY, PRESIDENT, AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION Mr. RUBY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With you permission, I will dispense with a reading of our statement. I would like to make a few observations that I think might be helpful to this committee. In addition, I have brought Capt. Leslie Carter, from New York Airways, who is a qualified helicopter pilot and earns his living in this capacity. For the record, I would like to state that I am not a qualified helicopter pilot. I am in fixed-wing aircraft from the DC-8 on downward. My name in Charles H. Ruby, and I am the president of the Air Line Pilots Association. The thing that I have noted in listening to these hearings is the fact that everyone recognizes the necessity of getting the helicopter industry off subsidy. The Air Line Pilots Association does not advocate permanent subsidy as such. We recognize there are some parts of the service, to the citizens of this country, that may require a prolonged subsidy consideration. In the case of the helicopter, as in many other types of aircraft, we recognize the research and development that is required to make any such machine an economic entity. Basically, the entire situation revolves around the ability to have a power plant that its ratio to its dead weight becomes increasingly greater in terms of the power developed. As you probably know, at its inception, the helicopter would barely lift its own weight with the pilot. During the intervening years, the helicopter has become capable of not only living its own weight in vertical takeoff and descent, but also up to approximately 29 or 30 people. It is conceivable to me that the engine development in the not too distant future will supply sufficient power output in relation to the dead weight of the engine that the helicopter can and will become economically self-sufficient. So it is our view that if the subsidy were cut off at this instant, or a few years subsequent, we would have dealt a deathblow to development to an industry which, in my view, is very necessary from the standpoint of the overall good of the country. For example, if we ever suffered an atomic attack in this country, how would you in to rescue or recoup the people that were not in the immediate death-dealing blast area? This is just one example of where a large contingency of helicopter operations could be most useful in a disaster condition.
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