About Mario Vittone

Mario is the General Manager of LSC. He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 22 years of military service. He was a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer on both H-60 and H-65 aircraft, was an instructor and course writer at AST A-School, and ended his career with four years in maritime accident investigation. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, Soundings, Reader's Digest, and The Washington Post.

Bringing Reality Inside: Hoist Emergency Response Training

By |2017-02-03T14:15:16-04:00April 25th, 2016|Training, Videos|

Rescue crews train on everything.  Boat crews perform drills  on man-overboard, fire, flooding, loss of steering, you name it.  Helicopter crews drill on everything too.  In my time in helicopters I remember drilling on cabin fire and smoke, ditching and escape,  total power loss and auto-rotation, I even remember watching an instructor pilot pull back an [...]

When All Else Fails: Broken Cables, Lost Hooks, and Options

By |2017-02-03T14:15:17-04:00January 30th, 2016|Helicopter Gear, Products, Safety, Survival, Videos|

Though the mission had started out easy enough, three hours later it was the single worst moment of my life and by far my worst day in a helicopter. We were 240 miles offshore. It was pitch black, freezing cold, my best friend, Mike, was in the water and the hoist cable was - strand-by-strand [...]

Dynamic Rollout: An Unnecessary Risk

By |2017-02-03T14:15:17-04:00November 23rd, 2015|Helicopter Gear, Products, Safety, Videos|

I operated as a helicopter rescue swimmer for almost a decade before hearing the phrase "ring rollout." When you consider that the hoist-hook installed on U.S. Coast Guard aircraft at the time was the Mil-Spec hook pictured above and the most dangerous hook available, my ignorance of the concept is sobering. Dynamic Rollout or Ring Rollout - [...]