Just a little side note, most of our HEMS operations in he UK as far as im aware are conducted single pilot (civilian air ambulance) I will come on to RAF soon. They are governed by strict guidlines on what they can and cannot fly in by the operators. Whether this is legal or just a good practice code im not sure. Nearly all our HEMS operations in the civvy street only operate to off airport locations during offical day. Usually all of the pilots are night and instrument rated which means they are at least equipped to a degree to recover to a field on the occasion that a serious incident prevents them returning before night. Sometimes they conduct patient trasfer flights at night airport to airport etc... where they arn't required to fly low level and land in confined areas at night. This i think significantly reduces the risks associated. Im not sure what its like in other countries but by simply not being put into a positon where your required to land offsite on accident scenes at night and poor weather then the risk is reduced significantly.
The only operaters that could be said to regularly be available for night and poor weather rescue/ HEMS ops would be RAF search and rescue flights. They train in all weather and for a variety of roles from patient transfer to attending accident scenes to rescue operations. They have their limits yes, but you may stumble across them up in the air when other HEMS operations are on the ground, the difference being they are multi crewed with NVG, thermal imaging, and practice it regularly to reduce the risks associated with the situations they operate in.
Sadly its just not cost effective and pilots arn't readily available with the sort of experience required to provide this service on the civilian side yet.
I did mention RAF search and rescue that was almost i sort of included them i know they all provide search and resecue.
Because there isnt enough military pilots with search and rescue experience in the same company at the same time. In order for an operator to justify providing the equipment and infastructure to support it you would need more than just one of those pilots in the organisation.
Obviously there are the odd expection being Bristow search and rescue... but generally not available.
Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 736 Location: North England
Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:06 pm Post subject:
I know that when the North West air ambulance stationed at Barton suffered engine problems, the Manchester police helicopter was used to cover operations until a replacement aircraft arrived. Also when the Cheshire police's new EC 135 came into service there was a mention in the press release of the crew being trained to deal with motorway incidents and provide emergency medical assistance. _________________ R22 2.6 h/r wanting more, a hell of a lot more
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