"Greenstreak 8, you're cleared to enter left base for runway 24... Landing at the ramp will be at your own risk, that area is not visible from the tower."
"Greenstreak 8, Roger".
So I set myself up on a close-in left base, looking to the right down the runway centerline I was about to cross to insure no landing fixed-wing was trying to occupy the same airspace I was using. Seeing no traffic, I started my left turn to final and my eyes focused on something through the left greenhouse of the AStar 350D I was flying...
It looked familiar...
As it SHOULD, because I was looking at the bolts attaching the skids to the right front crosstube of a Bell 47, an aircraft similar to one I have flown about 1100 hours.
Instantly I lowered the collective ALL THE WAY, then rolled the AStar violently to the right, gritting my teeth as I expected to hear metal-to-metal contact.
Thankfully my actions, and the actions of the guy flying the 47, allowed enough space for my composite rotorblades to not slice his aircraft to pieces.
My heart was pounding.
I couldn't talk, so there was no reason to key the mic and say anything.
I landed, shut the aircraft down on the rolling platform, and told the refueler how much fuel I needed.
Paperwork finished, I drove to the County police office and walked in.
There, the police pilot was also finishing up his paperwork.
When he looked up I asked, "Was that as close as I thought it was?"
"Closer than I ever want to be to another aircraft", he replied.
He was cleared to land before I even entered the traffic pattern and we weren't warned about one another...
Human error by the controller.
I shook his hand, smiled, took a deep breath, and walked out of the office, vowing to do a better job of keeping my "head on a swivel" in the future.
Thank you Lord.