"Vigilance, my friends," Jonathan Godfrey

About the book

'Max Impact: A Story of Survival'

A book by Jonathan Godfrey and MJ Brickey.


The impact of the 2005 LifeEvac 2 crash into the ice-cold January waters of the Potomac River took two souls but spared one — shattering not only a helicopter but lives into intricate pieces.


Sole survivor Jonathan Godfrey knows the fragments can't be forced back as they were, but he has spent more than a decade picking them up again, arranging them, and presses them into place within the pages of his book to make a grand mosaic that readers can appreciate.


This one crash made powerful waves and evoked such ripples from its maximum point of impact that it refaced our banks and redefined our shorelines where we all sat comfortably thinking we couldn’t feel the effects, but have been affected, and will continue to be shaped in ways not one of us imagined.

Life Evac 2, Potomac River

To surprise a hero

January 10, 2018 — It has been 13-years today that Bill Dunston made the call that launched the EMS response that saved Jonathan Godfrey’s life. And through a series of coincidences, it was today Godfrey met Dunston for the first time.

Godfrey receives standing ovation at Magnetcon

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Amazon now has 'Max Impact' on Kindle and eBook for $9.99 and paperback for $14.99!

Autographed Paperback

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Throwback from Popular Mechanics article in 2010.

Pictured right is Jonathan Godfrey at the 2009 FAA hearings about the feasibility of night-vision goggles


On Jan. 10, 2005, Jonathan Godfrey was on duty as a flight nurse when his Eurocopter EC-135 medical helicopter, flying low and fast over Washington, D.C., entered a dark area south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that pilots referred to as the "black void." Twenty seconds later, he woke up on the bottom of the Potomac River, still strapped to his seat. After groping for the belt, Godfrey popped to the surface, and an hour later Trooper 2--the same helicopter that would crash near Andrews in 2008--picked him up, a broken bone poking through the arm of his flight suit. Two others, the pilot and a flight paramedic, died.


Night-vision goggles, scheduled for installation on Godfrey's helicopter, hadn't yet been delivered. Pilots agree that goggles make a difference. In a 2008 survey by the National EMS Pilots Association, 88 percent of 382 pilots said using night-vision goggles "provides a significant safety advantage." But 40 percent said their companies didn't supply them. In the survey's comment section, one pilot says of the years he spent flying at night over the mountains of Kentucky, "We must have been out of our minds."


Chapter Photos and Media

Never forget.

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Copyright © 2017 By Jonathan Godfrey and MJ Brickey. All rights are reserved by Jonathan Godfrey, Mandy Brickey, and Vision Communications. Content may not be copied, reproduced, transmitted, distributed, downloaded or transferred in any form or by any means without Vision Communications' prior written consent, and with express attribution to Vision Communications.