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CatSlave
03-26-2008, 07:19 PM
http://www.hellocopter.org/blog.asp (http://www.hellocopter.org/blog.asp)


Monday, March 24, 2008
In case you have been wondering when we will finally deliver those many well-wish cards that we have gathered: we're experiencing some difficulties in getting hospital managements to give permission for us to drop by.


Jared has been talking to six different hospitals to date, trying to get them to open the doors of their children's wards, but they are reluctant. Fears of infections and the like. That's understandable, though it appears to also be a matter of fears of lawsuits.

So far, no one is keen on allowing us to land on their helipads. Some say it's okay for us to come as close as the front door where they'll be happy to accept our cards, but that's as far as it goes. Others say that we are not welcome, period. And two hospitals we have yet to hear back from.

We'll take it as it comes. Landing the helicopter in front, or on top, of the hospital would be good for drama, and especially exciting for the kids to see or at least hear. But if they don't want us there, that'd be fine too; we'll land on the next lawn or parking lot that's available. Or at the local airport like everybody else, and we'll grab a cab from there. As long as we can come in and get a chance to talk to at least a few of the sick children, so that we can tell them in person that strangers are thinking about them and wishing them well.


We'll also need, frankly, local media to record our early visits, to help spread the word. We can only help a million sick kids if we reach hundreds of thousands of other people and ask them for their help, too. There is no doubt that we'll get it done. It's just a matter of finding the first doors that will open for us to deliver (y)our ray of sunshine. Seems we may have to go to the more remote hospitals first.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Funny, they've been on this goodwill trip for more than a year now.
Just starting to talk to hospitals? A total of six?


Total cards collected: who knows?
Total cards delivered: None
Total donations collected: who knows?
Total donations delivered: None


Query: Are the donations in an interest-bearing account?


Does shaking a million hands in restaurants and hotels count as a charity activity?
Is Alice getting carpal tunnel from clicking her "handshake counter" device?

DaveKuzminski
03-26-2008, 08:04 PM
Didn't they claim to be in the air last year delivering cards? And claiming to have passport problems at some borders? And having fuel problems in a few places?

Jersey Chick
03-26-2008, 08:06 PM
Do they really think the hospitals would allow kids up on the helipad to watch a helicopter land???

CatSlave
03-26-2008, 08:14 PM
Didn't they claim to be in the air last year delivering cards? And claiming to have passport problems at some borders? And having fuel problems in a few places?
You have to go to the website Hellocopter.org to read the whole story.
It's all in Willem's blog, partially quoted above.
In writing.
In public.

It's a strange, strange world.

Marie Pacha
03-26-2008, 08:36 PM
http://www.hellocopter.org/blog-week13-wil.asp

Check the entries for Friday, July 27, 2007 and look at the photo next to the post for Aug. 2, 2007.

and
http://www.hellocopter.org/blog-week02-wil.asp
Check the entry for Monday, May 14, 2007
Deadhorse, Alaska

Thus far their pilot is the only one of the crew to make the entire journey on the copter.

nancy sv
03-26-2008, 11:15 PM
I've just spent about an hour reading through the site and I'm still confused. As I look through their site I notice that they are trying to "break" 10 world records - all "firsts". I wonder if they've even contacted Guinness World Records about their attempt. When we contacted them about the possbility of our boys setting a new world record for being the youngest people to cycle the Pan-American Highway, we found out that Guinness doesn't do any "firsts" because that can NEVER be broken. The idea behind a record is that it has to be something that someone can break if they want to - the youngest, the oldest, the fastest, etc... Guinness gave us a list of things we had to do in order to document our journey and we have to do them or they will not recognize our trip at all.


Guinness World Records receives around 65,000 record claims each year, and it's obviously impossible for us to accept everything that’s sent to us.

Some record suggestions are, frankly, far too dangerous for us accept, especially if there is risk to spectators and members of the public as well as the individual participant(s). Others are simply not enough of a challenge, too specific to an individual, or unbreakable.

Also, owing to space constraints and limited resources, it is no longer possible for us to recognize or publish national or parochial (country specific) records. This is why we are now called Guinness World Records, not the Guinness Book of Records.

While we certainly do not underestimate these accomplishments, we do require all of our records to be provable, quantifiable and breakable.

Marie Pacha
03-26-2008, 11:27 PM
Keep reading. I don't think you'll get any less confused.

mscelina
03-26-2008, 11:34 PM
Why in the world would they be shocked because hospitals won't allow them to land on their helipads? Those are reserved for life flights, not for some cheap publicity ploy.

Marie Pacha
03-26-2008, 11:38 PM
There is that point too.

Sheryl Nantus
03-26-2008, 11:40 PM
Why in the world would they be shocked because hospitals won't allow them to land on their helipads?

because their reality is very, VERY different from ours.

wonder how they're writing that off for the IRS...

Richard White
03-26-2008, 11:45 PM
I'm still not convinced that the initial flights ever happened.

Nothing but generic pictures that could have been harvested off the internet and very generic postings about places.

I wish I knew what airport they kept their helicopter at. I would have gone up there during the "flight" to verify it actually left Maryland, much less the country. I mean, Frederick is only about 40 miles from here.

DaveKuzminski
03-26-2008, 11:46 PM
Hmmm, that's PA logic for you. Break a record by being first. Nope, that's establishing a record, not breaking one. The second person to try gets to break the record.

But don't give up hope, Willem. You can still establish a record for the most rejections from hospitals. Just don't throw away those rejection letters. Guiness will want those as proof of your achievement.

CatSlave
03-26-2008, 11:49 PM
Mean-spirited people might suggest that Hellocopter is either a charity scam to raise money fraudulently, a tax dodge for helicopter expenses, a PR scheme with no basis in reality to make the participants appear to be charitable, or all of the above. Or something entirely different. Willem has vowed to 'shake a million hands' as if that is an accomplishment worthy of note.

The truth of the matter has yet to be determined.

The fact that the Hellocopter crew has been traveling for more that a year and has delivered no cards to children and has received no media attention whatsoever, and is not endorsed by any trustworthy charitable organization, makes their mission statement suspect.

Stay tuned.

Gillhoughly
03-26-2008, 11:55 PM
And considering the 'copter rental and fuel costs wouldn't it just be cheaper to mail a bag of cards?

Dear sick kid,

Sorry we couldn't land on the hospital roof, but there was a Med-Evac 'copter on the pad bringing in a critical injury, so it's not our fault you missed a big thrill. It's also not our fault that the hospital staff couldn't be dragged away from their life-saving duties to get you and your sicko pals up the five stories to the roof so you could watch us wave at you, then cart you back down again in time for your chemo.

Hope you feel better for getting this lame-ass card.

Sincerely,

Someone willing to use your illness to grab some cheesy publicity.

BenPanced
03-27-2008, 12:09 AM
Dear sick kid,

Sorry we couldn't land on the hospital roof, but there was a Med-Evac 'copter on the pad bringing in a critical injury, so it's not our fault you missed a big thrill. It's also not our fault that the hospital staff couldn't be dragged away from their life-saving duties to get you and your sicko pals up the five stories to the roof so you could watch us wave at you, then they'd cart you back down again in time for your chemo.

Hope you feel better for getting this lame-ass card.

Sincerely,

Someone willing to use your illness to grab some cheesy publicity.
No, PA would demand an apology from the sick kid.

ResearchGuy
03-27-2008, 12:11 AM
I'm still not convinced that the initial flights ever happened.

Nothing but generic pictures that could have been harvested off the internet and very generic postings about places.
. . .
Maybe the whole thing has been a PA riff on "Flat Stanley," but entirely imaginary, with not even a mailed cutout of the Hellocopter.

--Ken

Gillhoughly
03-27-2008, 12:25 AM
If these wankers REALLY want to make a million sick kids happy, then they should donate ALL of PA's profits toward medical research so the sick kids can get cured.

If that copter is real, then we know where one of the Stooges spends his cut of the con profits.

Gravity
03-27-2008, 12:31 AM
This whole thing...I dunno...somehow resonates with me. From sea to shining sea. Like a glove, even.

darkprincealain
03-27-2008, 12:44 AM
The great and mighty pirate ship is actually a helicopter at least partially manned by one of the three stooges? This is a kool-aid story, isn't it?

Well at least it makes for some great entertainment. :popcorn:

From the few blogs I've read there, there is a, shall we say, interesting relationship with reality.

Jersey Chick
03-27-2008, 01:53 AM
No, PA would demand an apology from the sick kid.
Not only that, but it would have to be in writing, because they wouldn't talk to the kid(s) unless they apologized first.

Unimportant
03-27-2008, 01:58 AM
I wonder if the hospitals who refused to let them land were sent "tone letters"?

CatSlave
03-27-2008, 02:15 AM
http://www.hellocopter.org/hellocard.asp

We don't necessarily seek to raise money, but we don't discourage it either. Please make your check payable to HELP, Inc. The Air 44 Xplore team supports Helicopter Explorers for Life Partnerships (HELP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Maybe someone can explain this to me:

Willem is the XPlore team which supports HELP.
Willem is also the tax exempt HELP organization which is 'supported' by
the XPlore team and YOUR checks, made payable to HELP, Inc.

Is this some sort of incestuous relationship between Willem and Willem?

I'm sure he has been told numerous times to perform a physically impossible act -you know the one I mean- but this is the first time I've seen it happen in real life.

I guess he no longer 'supports and consults Unicef' (sic).

Sheryl Nantus
03-27-2008, 02:33 AM
http://www.hellocopter.org/hellocard.asp

We don't necessarily seek to raise money, but we don't discourage it either. Please make your check payable to HELP, Inc. The Air 44 Xplore team supports Helicopter Explorers for Life Partnerships (HELP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Maybe someone can explain this to me:

Willem is the XPlore team which supports HELP.
Willem is also the tax exempt HELP organization which is 'supported' by
the XPlore team and YOUR checks, made payable to HELP, Inc.

Is this some sort of incestuous relationship between Willem and Willem?

I'm sure he has been told numerous times to perform a physically impossible act -you know the one I mean- but this is the first time I've seen it happen in real life.

I guess he no longer 'supports and consults Unicef' (sic).

I wonder if it actually IS registered as a nonprofit organization... you do have to file papers for that...

anyone wanna do a bit of legwork?

;)

Khazarkhum
03-27-2008, 02:39 AM
http://www.hellocopter.org/hellocard.asp

We don't necessarily seek to raise money, but we don't discourage it either. Please make your check payable to HELP, Inc. The Air 44 Xplore team supports Helicopter Explorers for Life Partnerships (HELP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Maybe someone can explain this to me:

Willem is the XPlore team which supports HELP.
Willem is also the tax exempt HELP organization which is 'supported' by
the XPlore team and YOUR checks, made payable to HELP, Inc.

Is this some sort of incestuous relationship between Willem and Willem?

I'm sure he has been told numerous times to perform a physically impossible act -you know the one I mean- but this is the first time I've seen it happen in real life.


There is no requirement for a charity to spend its money on the cause it supports. All he has to do is show intent. Live AID, the huge concert for Africa, delivered a whopping $70,000.00. The rest went to 'overhead'.

Willem can legally draw a salary from donations, and he can pay his pilot, mechanic, secretary, legal team, janitor and so on as legitimate business expenses. He can cover office expenses, too, including meals, travel, rent, utilities and anything else that would normally fall under the costs of doing business.

Sheryl Nantus
03-27-2008, 02:42 AM
at first look it seems like he's running $5,000 in the black...

still, if anyone knows any investigative journalists in the area, bet it'd be a great story...

:D

CatSlave
03-27-2008, 02:49 AM
http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

Exemption Requirements
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=175419,00.html) and operated (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=175421,00.html) exclusively for exempt purposes (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=175418,00.html) set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=123297,00.html) to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=120703,00.html), i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96102,00.html) in accordance with Code section 170.
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=123297,00.html), and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=123303,00.html) with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=123298,00.html) may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.
Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities (http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=120703,00.html). For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicp97.pdf); for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopici02.pdf).

Further:
Inurement/Private Benefit - Charitable Organizations
A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator's family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.

Khazarkhum
03-27-2008, 02:57 AM
Hmmm. If you look at the picture of the helicopter at the upper left corner of the home page, you'll see that the site name doesn't fit on the fuselage. On the gallery page, the site name is somewhere else.

BTW--shouldn't Hello Kitty fly a Hello Copter???:e2cat:

Khazarkhum
03-27-2008, 03:03 AM
Further:
Inurement/Private Benefit - Charitable Organizations
A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator's family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.

Correct. The fact that he draws a salary doesn't mean he's doing it for personal benefit. He just happens to be the primary beneficiary. If all those mean old hospitals would just let him land in the kids' ward so he could deliver the literally dozens of cards he's recieved, all would be well.

Marie Pacha
03-27-2008, 01:07 PM
How many of us have had a child hospitalized?

I have. When my youngest son was three he was hospitalized for a week for an infection in his knee from a tiny puncture wound. Without the very aggressive treatment he received, he could have lost his leg, or even his life.

He was in pain. He was scared, and he was sick. I was scared too, for him, and I spent that week sleeping on a cot in his hospital room, and rarely leaving his side.

The last thing he wanted or needed was a group of strangers magically appearing with a card and video equipment to record their "gift" as a publicity stunt for their world "record" jaunts around the world. If any such group had shown up in his hospital room I'd have been on the phone to the Hospital Administration immediately requesting they be escorted out the door of the building.

Using sick children as an excuse to further your own self interests and achieve any level of fame has to be (in my opinion) one of the most pathetic acts I have ever witnessed.

Marie Pacha

CatSlave
03-27-2008, 02:03 PM
Using sick children as an excuse to further your own self interests and achieve any level of fame has to be (in my opinion) one of the most pathetic acts I have ever witnessed.

Marie Pacha
You could not have said it better.
The Hellocopter stunt may or may not be illegal, but unquestionably it is immoral.

Tsu Dho Nimh
03-27-2008, 09:34 PM
Oh my, KittyServant! What a walking example of self-centered megalomania you have dropped onto my screen!


Jared has been talking to six different hospitals to date, trying to get them to open the doors of their children's wards, but they are reluctant. Fears of infections and the like. That's understandable, though it appears to also be a matter of fears of lawsuits.

It's not fear of infections, it's the well-developed instinct that hospital admins have - the instinct for scammers. And the instinct to protect the privacy of patients.


So far, no one is keen on allowing us to land on their helipads.

Well, DUH! While you are glad-handing the kiddies on your photo-op adventure, with the chopper idling on the pad, where are the choppers that want to land with - you know - sick and injured people going to land?


We'll take it as it comes. Landing the helicopter in front, or on top, of the hospital would be good for drama, and especially exciting for the kids to see or at least hear. Few children's wards have a view or are in earshot of the chopper pad ... it's too noisy.


But if they don't want us there, that'd be fine too; we'll land on the next lawn or parking lot that's available. Or at the local airport like everybody else, and we'll grab a cab from there.

I'd love to see them land in a parking lot or lawn! Do you know what the fines and penalties are unless it's an emergency landing? And how fast the FAA can yank your license for a PR stunt landing?


As long as we can come in and get a chance to talk to at least a few of the sick children, so that we can tell them in person that strangers are thinking about them and wishing them well.

Sick kids don't give a damn about strangers ...



We'll also need, frankly, local media to record our early visits, to help spread the word. We can only help a million sick kids if we reach hundreds of thousands of other people and ask them for their help, too. There is no doubt that we'll get it done. It's just a matter of finding the first doors that will open for us to deliver (y)our ray of sunshine. Seems we may have to go to the more remote hospitals first.

Oh, yeah, the media is ALL-IMPORTANT to this venture. And has PA gone through the steps of registering as a charity for fundraising? Formed a tax-exempt foundation? Or are thye just blowing smoke and monkeys from their nether regions?



[/quote]Funny, they've been on this goodwill trip for more than a year now.
Just starting to talk to hospitals? A total of six?


Total cards collected: who knows?
Total cards delivered: None
Total donations collected: who knows?
Total donations delivered: None


Query: Are the donations in an interest-bearing account?[/quote]

I thought they were already flying|! Remember the dramatic landing in Alaska or somewhere?

DaveKuzminski
03-27-2008, 09:43 PM
In answer to registering their charity, it appears that it has been registered by Willem. From what I could see, the charity is connected to Willem, not PublishAmerica, though it appears that Willem is using PA to funnel some support to the charity.

JimmyD1318
03-27-2008, 10:11 PM
And people think I'm crazy.:crazy:

ResearchGuy
03-27-2008, 10:43 PM
. . .
Sick kids don't give a damn about strangers ...
. . .


Except maybe to be creeped out by them. Especially those strangers, I'd think.

--Ken

Khazarkhum
03-27-2008, 11:04 PM
I did my time in the hospital as a kid. All I wanted was our cat, my favorite stuffed animal Minou, and my parents. While I would have loved the helicopter, not being able to go ride on it would have sucked. If they'd given me a helicopter, cool. But cards from people I'd never met? Who cares?

Khazarkhum
03-27-2008, 11:06 PM
In answer to registering their charity, it appears that it has been registered by Willem. From what I could see, the charity is connected to Willem, not PublishAmerica, though it appears that Willem is using PA to funnel some support to the charity.

I wonder who bought the helicopter. That model & type runs from $350K-$450K, depending on options. You can buy a trailer for it & tow it around, and its own helipad. You can buy used ones, too, if you want.

underthecity
03-28-2008, 01:06 AM
I've been following this Hellocopter thing and I think I've figured out what Willem's doing.

First, we definitely know that either Willem or PA owns a helicopter. Remember when they flew it to a PA author's restaurant? We also know Willem was selling helicopter rides at one point, as a scenic tour thing.

We also know that Willem most likely lives in a very high tax bracket. Probably most of PA's profits go directly to him.

So, since he's got this helicopter, he must have decided to use it for a cross-country/around the world trip to be paid for by someone else. Why not? He's rich, PA runs itself, and . . . he owns a helicopter.

So he sets up a nonprofit organization designed to fail. And that is delivering "Hello Cards" to sick children in hospitals. Who couldn't resist to sponsor such a heartwarming mission?

Since Willem probably belongs to the Millionaires' Club in his region of Maryland he set up a charity fundraising dinner inviting fellow rich people who like to donate big money to charities. Willem announced the mission at the dinner, and everyone donated Big Tax Deductible Bucks to him so he could deliver all those wonderful Hello Cards. No, these sponsors didn't look so far in advance to see how Willem could pull off this stunt. Why not? He's a rich, successful businessman, part of the "Club." That's all the legitimacy he needed.

He also announced his nebulous plans to be in the Guinness Book of Worlds Records. And his benefactors wrote even bigger checks.

So, with money in hand, he set off on his journey in the helicopter. This was, in effect, a fully-paid around the world vacation in a helicopter.

As for the Hello Cards? He never had any intention of ever contacting any hospital to deliver anything. Oh sure, he contacted en route to discover they didn't want him to land there. And they blogged about it for any of the benefactors following his journey. Why those mean hospital administrators! Couldn't they see what a generous man this Willem was?

The evidence supports this:

* No publicity, not even a free PRWeb release. For this to work, there would have been a media blitz: radio and TV commercials, newspaper articles, Send those Hello Cards to this address.

* Hospital refusals as noted in the blog. For this to work, someone would have been hired to schedule this whole trip in advance. Hospitals would have been contacted weeks, or even months in advance of the trip to ensure their cooperation.

* No Hello Cards. This Big Deal has never even been announced on the PAMB. Where were all these Hello Cards supposed to be coming from? They claim on the blog to be planning to deliver them to uncooperative hospitals. What cards? They don't exist!

* Helicopter? We can't even see it! The blogs lead us to believe that part of this mission is that the sick kids can see the helicopter. Oooh, Ahhh! How cool is that? Well, if they have to land at the local airport to "deliver the cards," what's the point of even doing this?

* The Cards themselves. As has been discussed already in this thread, why would sick kids even care about Hello Cards from people they don't know?


See, Willem had no intention of carrying anything out. There are no cards. The only mission is an all-expenses-paid vacation in his own helicopter.

So, in the end, he's not really hurting anyone with this trip. The benefactors got tax writeoffs, so they're happy. Willem gets money, so he's happy.

And PA just keeps chugging along.

allen

DaveKuzminski
03-28-2008, 03:27 AM
Much as I dislike defending Willem, I believe there was at least one press release over a year ago. Also, folks were asked to send cards to PA to be delivered to the kids. Probably some were sent to be delivered.

CatSlave
03-28-2008, 03:43 AM
Much as I dislike defending Willem, I believe there was at least one press release over a year ago. Also, folks were asked to send cards to PA to be delivered to the kids. Probably some were sent to be delivered.
BLASPHEMY!

But you're right, I think it was in one of the newsletters--out of a grand total of two newsletters--that something was mentioned about writing and sending Hello cards, along with the reminder that they weren't actually asking for money, but you could send some if you wanted to.
For the children, of course.

underthecity
03-28-2008, 03:50 AM
This all adds to the "legitmacy" of his claim. If he actually asked for cards, it looked like he was doing something. If he did nothing, then it doesn't seem "real."

Kind of like how PA works. PA does the bare minimum to publish. Willem did the bare minimum to carry out his scam.

allen

Marie Pacha
03-28-2008, 03:58 AM
Check this out:
http://westmd.craigslist.org/evs/582366159.html

Sales brochure?

CatSlave
03-28-2008, 04:09 AM
Check this out:
http://westmd.craigslist.org/evs/582366159.html

Sales brochure?
Remember folks, your contributions are tax deductible.
And, we're not going to pay you to appear in our ads.
Just sign the release on the dotted line.

See...there really IS a free lunch.

underthecity
03-28-2008, 04:18 AM
Sales brochure?

Window dressing.

The ad, with its extra apostrophes, reads like a come-on for a timeshare presentation. Besides, the Hellocopter Mission started last year sometime. They are WAY too late to actually need to do this.

15-25 people to fill out cards? Wouldn't they need, oh, I don't know, hundreds of thousands of cards?


A free copy of the author's book
What author? The ad doesn't mention anything about an author. I guess that's Willem's Goliath book. I'm sure Frederickers couldn't wait to read that thing.

Again, it's all window dressing. Perhaps Willem is going to organize another fund-raising dinner with his previous benefactors to start another vacation.

allen

Marie Pacha
03-28-2008, 04:32 AM
http://www.hellocopter.org/mar08-14_2008.asp

Check out March 8-9 in particular.

Khazarkhum
03-28-2008, 04:53 AM
Since Willem probably belongs to the Millionaires' Club in his region of Maryland he set up a charity fundraising dinner inviting fellow rich people who like to donate big money to charities. Willem announced the mission at the dinner, and everyone donated Big Tax Deductible Bucks to him so he could deliver all those wonderful Hello Cards. No, these sponsors didn't look so far in advance to see how Willem could pull off this stunt. Why not? He's a rich, successful businessman, part of the "Club." That's all the legitimacy he needed.


Not quite. You see, most wealthy people didn't get that way handing out money. More likely he shilled it on PA & craigslist, and maybe the local paper.

Most wealthy benefactors ask about things like how much actually goes to the cause. There's a lot of people who've tried to scam very wealthy people & so they're sensitive to it. And they really despise those who scam kids.

But middle-- & working class shlubs like you & I are perfect. College kids are even better because they want everyone to be aware of their awareness.

He probably didn't do that much, just ran his little ad on the PAMB, or spammed all their authors. It wouldn't take long for him to get a chunk of money, especially when it's someone they already 'know' and 'trust'. After all, he's their publisher & he didn't even charge them!

I agree that he asked about the hospitals on an ad hoc basis, and alienated them with his naked greed.

nancy sv
03-28-2008, 08:46 AM
I wrote and asked them about the world records. Apparently Guinness doesn't deal with aviation records, but they referred the team to some other organization. They decided not to bother. I guess really one doesn't have to go with an established organization to set a world record - you just do it and if you know you are the first, then you've got the record.

Marie Pacha
04-01-2008, 04:23 PM
Hospitals won't let them in, by God they are going after orphans now!

http://www.hellocopter.org/blog.asp

"Meanwhile we're debating to add orphanages to our targeted group of children, and bring them bags full of cheerful cards too. If so, we'll need more that just get-well cards, obviously. We're working this out in more detail."

The bolding is mine.

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 05:00 PM
What author? The ad doesn't mention anything about an author. I guess that's Willem's Goliath book. I'm sure Frederickers couldn't wait to read that thing.
allen

Probably this book:
http://www.amazon.ca/Those-Who-Win-Think-They/dp/1893162273/ref=sr_1_5/702-4707715-8348058?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207054423&sr=1-5

Available from Amazon/Canada for a mere $20.42 CND (paperback).

Gillhoughly
04-01-2008, 06:16 PM
add orphanages to our targeted group of children, and bring them bags full of cheerful cards too.

Hey, I saw a t-shirt at my local ophanage!



"I want to be adopted, but all I got was this lousy greeting card."

On the back:



"Willie was too cheap to spring for a t-shirt."

Marie Pacha
04-01-2008, 09:45 PM
I was adopted; so were my two brothers.

Amazing how they have "targeted" captive audiences (literally.)

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 10:34 PM
Amazing how they have "targeted" captive audiences (literally.)
Don't forget the local women's prison.

I forgot...was that a charity trip or a recruitment trip?

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 11:01 PM
Willemís log: Scam date 5-11-07.

The Hellocopter aka USS Scheister ...<snipped middle>

Iím Willem the Great, why, oh why donít people understand that?
:roll:

Marie Pacha
04-01-2008, 11:36 PM
oxygen...I need oxygen!!!!

JimmyD1318
04-02-2008, 12:19 AM
All I can say is...Bravo! Encore! Encore!:e2headban

Kevin Yarbrough
04-02-2008, 06:49 AM
I wonder what would happen if a hospital told Willie that he could land his copter there and come visit the kids? Would he land? Would he have a camera crew and cards on hand? I don't think he would. He would probably send the hospital a tone letter.

"How dare you allow us to land on your helipad!!! Don't you know that an emergency could have arisen and they medivac helicopter would not have had a place to land?! And allowing us to visit sick children? Don't you know that is an invasion of hosptial protocol and not to mention violation of the patients rights?! I, sir, demand an appology from you in writing and your resignation. I will be awaiting the letter.

Sincerely,
Willem"

BarbJ
04-04-2008, 04:53 AM
I Just finished reading this thread. And I was eating dinner, too. I feel sick.

Ya gotta admit, PA makes it hard to figure if they're completely clueless or arrogantly avaricious, endlessly conniving, and unfailingly without regard for others, sans morals, ethics and consideration. I guess they could be merely stupid ... but they're getting rich being so.

If, when I was a kid in the hospital, some stranger had shown up with a thunder of helicopter blades, surrounded by cameras and false cheer (kids aren't stupid), to hand me a card written by another stranger, I would have started screaming for my mother. Especially if I discovered the card was written by yet another stranger who knew nothing about me or why I was there, but did it for a free lunch and appearing on film. And now in an orphanage? "So sorry you don't have any parents. Have a card. Now smile for the camera."

Yeah. You care, Willem. Shut up and donate the money; the kids need it a lot more than they need a publicity gig and tax write off for you.

CatSlave
04-04-2008, 05:32 AM
I Just finished reading this thread. And I was eating dinner, too. I feel sick....

Yeah. You care, Willem. Shut up and donate the money; the kids need it a lot more than they need a publicity gig and tax write off for you.
Amen to that, Sister.

Sparhawk
04-04-2008, 04:43 PM
I Just finished reading this thread. And I was eating dinner, too. I feel sick.

Ya gotta admit, PA makes it hard to figure if they're completely clueless or arrogantly avaricious, endlessly conniving, and unfailingly without regard for others, sans morals, ethics and consideration. I guess they could be merely stupid ... but they're getting rich being so.

If, when I was a kid in the hospital, some stranger had shown up with a thunder of helicopter blades, surrounded by cameras and false cheer (kids aren't stupid), to hand me a card written by another stranger, I would have started screaming for my mother. Especially if I discovered the card was written by yet another stranger who knew nothing about me or why I was there, but did it for a free lunch and appearing on film. And now in an orphanage? "So sorry you don't have any parents. Have a card. Now smile for the camera."

Yeah. You care, Willem. Shut up and donate the money; the kids need it a lot more than they need a publicity gig and tax write off for you.

Bravo... That sums it up perfectly.

Marie Pacha
04-06-2008, 03:34 PM
Meiner's most recent post on the hellocopter site gives his opinion of trust.
http://www.hellocopter.org/blog.asp

"Sunday, April 06, 2008
What I'm getting at is that trust is all we have. Trust, confidence, faith, belief. It's something you exercise each and every day multiple times in a world that has multiple appearances. We trust gazillions of people that we have never even met, and dozens every day that we actually do meet without spending as much as a second quizzing them.
Are you certain that your doctor is really a doctor? Do you interview your anesthesiologist before you let him gas you? How can I be sure that the fuel guy at the Mexican airport who walks away with my Amex card so he can swipe it in a building that I have no access to, will actually return it? Is the barf on my plate really a Pakistani delicacy as advertised on Restaurant Himalaya's menu, and not barf?

The one and only reason why we say yes to those questions is not because our eyes can see, our ears can hear, or our noses can smell, but because we trust. We trust, believe, have faith an astonishing number of times per day. Something we were born with. If a baby wouldn't trust that it will make it through the day alive, despite the absence of any tools of self-sufficiency, it would hang itself at the first opportunity of reaching that cord with the cute little rabbits that's dangling from above. Trust is innate.

So if you do trust everyone else, why is it that you don't trust yourself in equal proportions, and then some?"

Now I personally don't agree that we are "born" with trust. It's something we learn from the caregivers and nurturers that surround us from birth on.

It's something that PA manages to destroy.

Sparhawk
04-07-2008, 06:19 PM
Meiner's most recent post on the hellocopter site gives his opinion of trust.
http://www.hellocopter.org/blog.asp

"Sunday, April 06, 2008
What I'm getting at is that trust is all we have. Trust, confidence, faith, belief. It's something you exercise each and every day multiple times in a world that has multiple appearances. We trust gazillions of people that we have never even met, and dozens every day that we actually do meet without spending as much as a second quizzing them.
Are you certain that your doctor is really a doctor? Do you interview your anesthesiologist before you let him gas you? How can I be sure that the fuel guy at the Mexican airport who walks away with my Amex card so he can swipe it in a building that I have no access to, will actually return it? Is the barf on my plate really a Pakistani delicacy as advertised on Restaurant Himalaya's menu, and not barf?

The one and only reason why we say yes to those questions is not because our eyes can see, our ears can hear, or our noses can smell, but because we trust. We trust, believe, have faith an astonishing number of times per day. Something we were born with. If a baby wouldn't trust that it will make it through the day alive, despite the absence of any tools of self-sufficiency, it would hang itself at the first opportunity of reaching that cord with the cute little rabbits that's dangling from above. Trust is innate.

So if you do trust everyone else, why is it that you don't trust yourself in equal proportions, and then some?"

Now I personally don't agree that we are "born" with trust. It's something we learn from the caregivers and nurturers that surround us from birth on.

It's something that PA manages to destroy.

What a bunch of drivel. Man this guy is such a fake. Take his prose and map it to Publish America and it's easy to see how full of cow poop he really is. Wow..... now I need popcorn AND a fresh cup of coffee.

JimmyD1318
04-07-2008, 06:52 PM
Wow..... now I need popcorn AND a fresh cup of coffee.


Did someone say the magic word POPCORN? I gotcha covered! Here you go! POPCORN :popcorn: and coffee :Coffee:! Enjoy! :D

Sparhawk
04-07-2008, 10:20 PM
http://www.thinkthankyou.org/1424161290.jpg I wonder what THIS gem will go for? Will this be a freebie in the next great PA book special?

DaveKuzminski
04-07-2008, 10:40 PM
http://www.thinkthankyou.org/1424161290.jpg I wonder what THIS gem will go for? Will this be a freebie in the next great PA book special?

Hmmm, they must have airbrushed out the trigger for the rocket pods. ;)

BarbJ
04-10-2008, 05:45 AM
"Trust, confidence, faith, belief." I wonder if Willem realizes he named the top four words commonly used by con-men? :tongue

Some people's brains, if crammed into that of a gnat, wouldn't even give the bug a headache.

kullervo
04-10-2008, 06:06 AM
Wake me when they start dropping the live turkeys.

Khazarkhum
04-10-2008, 10:13 AM
ESPN Radio had a spot where they were flying a helicopter over cities, dropping loads of commemorative baseball bats on the public.

DaveKuzminski
04-10-2008, 04:26 PM
ESPN Radio had a spot where they were flying a helicopter over cities, dropping loads of commemorative baseball bats on the public.

Sounds like a riff on a track from the old National Lampoon's Radio Dinner album.

Sheryl Nantus
04-10-2008, 04:42 PM
Wake me when they start dropping the live turkeys.

"As God is my witness, I didn't know that turkeys couldn't fly!"

sad thing is - I believed it.

imagine my fright when I came down to Pennsylvania and saw flocks of the suckers wing their way across the highway.

:D

Marie Pacha
04-10-2008, 04:44 PM
Every now and then while morel mushroom hunting I would spook a turkey (and vice versa.) They don't fly far, but they take off with a LOT of noise.

PVish
04-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Speaking of turkeys:

This hellocopter thing is perfect for delivering PA books written by all those PA authors who repeat the "I don't want to make money, I just want to be read" mantra and who are distressed that their books aren't getting "out."

For a special discount price (maybe 10% off cover), they can purchase books from PA who will "drop ship" the books free to unsuspecting potential readers, many of who might be too ill to protest.

Wonder why PA hasn't thought of this?

nancy sv
04-10-2008, 06:29 PM
Wonder why PA hasn't thought of this?

Maybe they have thought of it, but decided all those books would be too heavy for the hellocopter??

IceCreamEmpress
04-10-2008, 09:51 PM
"As God is my witness, I didn't know that turkeys couldn't fly!"

sad thing is - I believed it.

Farm turkeys can't fly--they've been bred out of it, and their tiny wings won't support their huge bodies.

Wild turkeys, on the other hand, fly like a dream.

Khazarkhum
04-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Speaking of turkeys:

This hellocopter thing is perfect for delivering PA books written by all those PA authors who repeat the "I don't want to make money, I just want to be read" mantra and who are distressed that their books aren't getting "out."

For a special discount price (maybe 10% off cover), they can purchase books from PA who will "drop ship" the books free to unsuspecting potential readers, many of who might be too ill to protest.

Wonder why PA hasn't thought of this?

I suggested that, too, but as was pointed out it would cost more than a dollar.

OTOH--they could fly the hellocopter to a hospital & shove the box of cards out as they hover near the children's ward. To make it fall better they use PA books as ballast. That way the cards are delivered & the hospital gets more books.

To participate, a PA author must buy 5-10 of their books & donate them back to PA for the cause. While buying an approved Hellocopter card isn't required, it will guarantee that your book will be fitted into the box like a glove.

Sparhawk
04-11-2008, 04:01 PM
"As God is my witness, I didn't know that turkeys couldn't fly!"

sad thing is - I believed it.

imagine my fright when I came down to Pennsylvania and saw flocks of the suckers wing their way across the highway.

:D

I remember that line from WKRP in Cincinatti when Les Nessman was doing a paroady of the Hindenburg as the radio station dropped live turkeys from a helocopter.

nancy sv
08-22-2008, 04:40 AM
I just checked the site and couldn't find anything more current than last May. Weren't they going to go around the world or some such thing?

Marie Pacha
08-22-2008, 04:48 AM
http://www.willemsblog.com/

It's in Dutch. There are free translators online.

nancy sv
08-22-2008, 08:54 AM
Thanks - I'll check that out.

SLThomas
08-22-2008, 09:26 AM
Man that person is strange!

It's always "Me, me, me, my hellicopter, my records, etc..."

I think that he needs to be teached a lesson in humility. It's like he wants to do charity only to have his name in the Guiness book of records.

Shameful.

I understand hospitals wanting to keep this bozo away.

Marian Perera
08-30-2008, 10:46 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008

In case you have been wondering when we will finally deliver those many well-wish cards that we have gathered: we're experiencing some difficulties in getting hospital managements to give permission for us to drop by.


Jared has been talking to six different hospitals to date, trying to get them to open the doors of their children's wards, but they are reluctant. Fears of infections and the like. That's understandable, though it appears to also be a matter of fears of lawsuits.


I really wanted to get a quote of this from the horse's, er, mouth but when I checked out Willem's blog the archives only go back as far as May 8. Shoot.

Gillhoughly
08-31-2008, 04:10 AM
Willie--do us all a favor and land the Hellocopter on top of Baghdad Hospital in the Red Zone.

Then you would finally get the kind of reception you so richly deserve. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Hummertime
09-01-2008, 01:40 AM
Quick question: Is it pronounced hello-copter, as in the greeting, or hell-o-copter, as in the eternal destination of condemned souls?

BenPanced
09-01-2008, 03:58 AM
Or the "aw-hell-copter", as in "aw, hell, like we need this landing in our parking lot..."

CatSlave
07-24-2009, 08:28 AM
Yes, you CAN make a donation online...

http://www.ahyouthfoundation.org/heliflight.html

Richard White
07-24-2009, 05:20 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124841321266678469.html

A helicopter belonging to Advanced Helicopter Concepts crashed on I-70 last night after hitting power lines. Three employees and a passenger were killed. No details of who the victims were has been released at this time.

More to follow.

Source WBAL-AM Baltimore and the Wall Street Journal

Marie Pacha
07-24-2009, 08:10 PM
http://whiteplainscommunity.blogspot.com/

merrihiatt
07-24-2009, 11:03 PM
Oh, this is tragic news. Four people did not survive the crash. Their friends and families must be devastated.

DaveKuzminski
07-24-2009, 11:22 PM
One of the first questions that come to mind is whether the helicopter's maintenance was up to date. After all, it was flown extensively over several continents across long distances for which it might be considered ill suited.

Richard White
07-24-2009, 11:50 PM
This wasn't the same helicopter from the news reports. Apparently it was owned by a company in Del and rented to AHC.

My question is, considering the thunderstorms that rolled through MD last night, what the heck were they doing up there at 10:30pm?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-25-2009, 12:28 AM
Yea wasn't a good choice. Though they're saying they're not sure if weather played a factor in the crash, but a trained employee should have really known better. What a terrible tragedy though. Watch it end up being something that could have been prevented. Too sad, my heart goes out to those families.

Marie Pacha
07-25-2009, 01:04 AM
It is the same helicopter Richard. As it was set up, Meiners owned Marsan and Alice was the President.

It was overhauled after the trip around the Americas. Those are public records.

It is a tragedy that lives were lost.

James D. Macdonald
07-25-2009, 02:50 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090724/ap_on_re_us/us_helicopter_crash

Marie Pacha
07-26-2009, 04:00 PM
http://your4state.com/content/fulltext/?cid=73672

Marie Pacha
07-27-2009, 06:36 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32148006/ns/local_news-hagerstown_md/

Alphabeter
07-28-2009, 09:58 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32148006/ns/local_news-hagerstown_md/

"In 2007, the crew of the "R-44 Xplore," led by its owner, Frederick resident William Meiners, set two world aviation records."

Alice might be president of the company, but William is clearly the owner.

I hope the families of those who died are enriched by his karma.

JulieB
07-28-2009, 10:38 AM
I just hope the families of those who died are left alone to grieve in peace.

This incident will be investigated and the results will eventually be made public. Please, out of respect for the families, I request that we drop the speculation.

DaveKuzminski
07-28-2009, 03:55 PM
Excuse me, but too often the authorities fail to act unless there is public interest.

Noah Body
07-28-2009, 04:35 PM
Flying at night in any aircraft is tough, but doubly so in a helicopter. The guy was too low, and didn't have his head in the game--the wires are noted on the charts for the area, and if he was using an pilot-quality GPS chances are high they would have appeared on that as well.

JulieB
07-28-2009, 06:52 PM
Excuse me, but too often the authorities fail to act unless there is public interest.

According to news stories, authorities are looking into the cause of the crash.

Any time there's a light aircraft (plane, helicopter) crash in my area, the FAA and NTSB are all over it. I don't know why they wouldn't do the same thing elsewhere.

Gillhoughly
07-28-2009, 06:55 PM
I'm with JulieB, let's please respect the families involved and back off from this.

If there is to be a public outcry it will come from them and their friends. Writing directly to the investigative parties to express concerns is a more appropriate outlet than posting on a writer's forum.

DaveKuzminski
07-28-2009, 09:43 PM
This has nothing to do with respecting the families. They might not even be aware of the past history of that helicopter and its owner and might feel others are wrong not to bring it up. Had I access to some information when my father died, it very likely would have made it possible for me to take action against those who failed him with their incompetent medical treatment so others wouldn't have to go through the same situation. The surviving members of their families should have full public disclosure. They're less likely to get that if others who are knowledgeable of certain facts that could be relevant keep their information to themselves.

CatSlave
07-28-2009, 11:44 PM
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=93135

Marie Pacha
10-12-2010, 11:35 PM
I cannot find the original thread regarding the Hellocopter.

Sadly, this is the decision of the National transportation Safety Board regarding the crash of the Hellocopter a little over a year ago:

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20090724X05537&key=1

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilotís improper decision to depart on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight at night in adverse weather conditions in close proximity to rising mountainous terrain in a helicopter that was only certified to be operated under VFR and his subsequent failure to maintain adequate clearance with wires."

More information here:

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20090724X05537&ntsbno=ERA09FA417&akey=1

merrihiatt
10-13-2010, 02:00 AM
Thanks for the update, Marie. Such a sad situation.

PVish
12-04-2010, 02:41 AM
From Sinthia Darkness's blog, there's info about a 2008 hellocopter ride (http://sinthyiadarkness.blogspot.com/2010/12/publishamerica-up-up-and-away.html) as a raffle prize. News film included.

From the blog:
This is one of the goofiest take-offs ever and the two passengers, mother and son, are really lucky to have made it back alive. They are oblivious to the potential danger. I am not a pilot. However, military pilots have reviewed this video and have confirmed that Alice did not have control of this helicopter.

victoriastrauss
12-05-2010, 11:11 PM
I looked at the news video, and that takeoff does look scary. But from the stills at the end, it looks to me as if Alice Meiners was NOT the pilot. One of the stills shows her sitting in the back seat, behind one of the passengers. Another shows the passengers standing beside an unidentified guy who's wearing a white long-sleeved shirt under a dark polo shirt. In other stills this same guy is sitting in the front of the helicopter (you can clearly see those white sleeves), in what presumably is the pilot's seat.

I have to say, that blog is starting to feel a bit witch-hunty to me.

- Victoria

thothguard51
12-05-2010, 11:55 PM
Like Victoria, I did not once see where Alice took the pilots seat. Yes it could have been cut out, but the credits list a Pilot Dan, though it never identifies that he was the pilot. This is what you get when amateurs put together stuff like that.

As a person who has flown in various Helicopters, from military to civilian, after seeing that video, there is no way I would let that pilot fly me anywhere, at that time...