By that, he says, he means thoughtful, precise, controlled and focused – valuable characteristics for a helicopter rescue pilot at work on a deadly mountain.
While people often describe the Denali rescues as daring, Reichert and Hermansky insist risks are controlled. If the weather is too variable, the wind too extreme or the visibility too low, Hermansky has no problem saying no to a flight.
"He has told me no several times, and I like that in a pilot," Reichert says. "When you're flying in Alaska, especially in the Bush, you do not want to go with a pilot who never says no."
"I ain't going to push myself for nobody," Hermansky says.
Hermansky insists that his scientific, even detached, approached to rescues is about safety. Emotions don't have any place in the cockpit of a light helicopter pushing to its limits in thin air. He pulled O'Sullivan off the mountain above the altitude that helicopters are generally believed to be functional only because he believed that conditions permitted it.