Travis County Commissioners Court honors Kevin McDonald

Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve – The Chronicles of a Public Safety Helicopter Pilot by Kevin McDonald

Travis County Commissioners Court honors Kevin McDonald:

In 2012, the Travis County Commissioners Court passed the following proclamation, honoring his service:

WHEREAS, in May of 2000, after Kevin McDonald and his crew, with a patient onboard, suffered an engine failure on short final to a confined helipad, placing the aircrew in a highly vulnerable position, Kevin skillfully waived off his approach, avoided the large array of high-tension power lines in front of him, and landed the crippled aircraft on one engine at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. His outstanding piloting skills were directly responsible for saving the lives of four crewmembers and a patient;

WHEREAS, in November of 2001, after Kevin flew numerous rescue missions in torrential rain squalls throughout the night, effecting the rescue of 15 persons who had become trapped in deadly flood waters, he and his crew were awarded the Rotor & Wing Helicopter Heroism Award, as well as the Higgins and Langley Memorial Swiftwater Rescue Award. The story was aired nationally on the Weather Channel’s Storm Stories series;

WHEREAS, in April of 2009, Kevin and his crew performed an extraordinary moving rescue on the Lampasas River, during which he was forced to maneuver over bridges and power lines with the rescue swimmer suspended below the helicopter. His piloting skills and excellent coordination with his crew, in a very dynamic and challenging situation, resulted in the saving of two lives;

WHEREAS, in his twenty-year career at STAR Flight, Kevin has:

  • Flown 3,752 hours in four different aircraft types,
  • Transported more than 2300 patients,
  • Rescued more than 130 persons during floods and other dangerous emergencies,
  • Performed more than 1000 firefighting water drops in Central Texas,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Travis County Commissioners Court commends Kevin McDonald for his brave, life-saving actions during medical emergencies, floods, fires and numerous situations that required a skilled pilot. His service to the citizens of Travis County and Central Texas is measured not only by statistics, but also by lives and property saved. We thank him for his years of dedicated service.

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