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More on flying trauma patients...


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First off: Yes I realize each service/country/state is different, but I am quick to give my fellow practitioners the benefit of the doubt.

It is protocol here (my service, perhaps province wide...Squint??) that if my patient fits certain criteria, no matter what the weather, terrain etc. we call the chopper.

It is ultimatly up to the pilot to make the call if he will fly or not. Yes I can lead him by saying "We are in intence fog" or something of the sort, but how do I know how high the fog goes? Perhaps he can land on a clear hilltop nearby??

Just sayin, this could very well be the case in this story.

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So.. Which is more ignorant, or inappropriate to suggest with out further details from investigations?

This:

Or This?

Mechanics? Federal law makers, who don't require instrumentation that could prevent crashes caused by not being aware of distance to the ground? I haven't read anything about the extent of the injuries of the victims, from the auto crash. I have read statements about Maryland EMS and trauma patient destination protocols. Waldorf is about an hour, by road, from the Shock Trauma Center in Balt. So many factors to go over, I'm not too familiar with Maryland, as far was other Trauma centers, if protocol suggested the patient needs to be taken to one. Ultimately, no matter what the medevac dispatch centers report, it's the pilot's decision to take the flight or not. I don't think anything has been suggested yet to clue in that it was pilot ignorance, seems like either equipment failure, or lack of flight instruments.

O.k. again, since a few failed to read the other thread, as previously requested, lets not make unknown guesses at what happened. Especially, if you have no knowledge of aviation or its related subjects. Aircraft do not just "fail", especially a twin engine turbine workhorse such as the AS365. The only known factor in this right now is the substandard weather, so yes that will be closely scrutizined. But the MSP helicopters are well equiped with everything required by Part 135 and then some. It is also rated for flight into IMC conditions. Other than media hype, there has been no indication of a mechanical issue. So again, leave it be and let the NTSB do their own work................

Both quotes identify factors that need to change in this industry. We do need to take a much closer look at who we put on a helicopter because it has been proven that we fly too many patients who do not need it and show no benefit from it.

All crew members, not just the pilot, make the call to fly or not fly. Its called crew resource management and it too is an aspect that is still not utilized enough and has yet to be considered in ground EMS. This tool alone can really cut down on accidents in general, not just in aviation. Something to consider.............

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Mechanics? Federal law makers, who don't require instrumentation that could prevent crashes caused by not being aware of distance to the ground?

A radar altimeter will not prevent crashes as well as you think. While it will tell you the distance to the ground, it WILL NOT tell you the distance from your helicopter to the top of the tree you are about to hit! Neither will TCAS. Hence why it is important to remember your required altitudes (MOCA / MORA / DH / MAP, etc.) when flying in IMC.

Also, most commercial aircraft, including the AS 365, have altimeters. Hell, even the little Robinson R-44's have them as an option.

Draw your own conclusion.................................

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A radar altimeter will not prevent crashes as well as you think. While it will tell you the distance to the ground, it WILL NOT tell you the distance from your helicopter to the top of the tree you are about to hit! Neither will TCAS. Hence why it is important to remember your required altitudes (MOCA / MORA / DH / MAP, etc.) when flying in IMC.

Also, most commercial aircraft, including the AS 365, have altimeters. Hell, even the little Robinson R-44's have them as an option.

Draw your own conclusion.................................

I'm not assuming anything.. I was summarizing an article that I had read on http://www.somdnews.com . It discussed the equipment for detecting distance from the ground, and that only a certain percentage of the fleet of helicopters had that equipment. The one that crashed, being one that did not have it, and that it may have struck the top of an 80' tree.

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This is also NOT taking into account if the building's roof could hold the weight of a Textron-Bell 244 Jet Long-Ranger landing on it.

*********Correction*************

I just was told by a Helicopter "Rotor-Head" the helicopters are not 244s, they are 412s. My Rotor-Head is going to some helicopter buff show in PA in a few weekends.

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I'm not assuming anything.. I was summarizing an article that I had read on http://www.somdnews.com . It discussed the equipment for detecting distance from the ground, and that only a certain percentage of the fleet of helicopters had that equipment. The one that crashed, being one that did not have it, and that it may have struck the top of an 80' tree.

Ok. But as flight-lp pointed out, radar altimeters will not tell you what the altitude is ahead of you. They only tell you what's straight down. You may be 500 AGL, cruising at 130 knots, and fly head on into a 1000 foot cliff and the radar altimeter will never sound. It doesn't tell you what is ahead...only down.

When you find that cliff, or tree, it's usually too late.

-be safe

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While I generally agree with that sentiment, I don't think that it is too early to start placing blame on the flawed system that creates this atmosphere. It doesn't matter what the weather was like. If the responders on that scene hadn't been uneducated whackers, the flight never would have been requested.

I'd be curious to see if the "lazy medic syndrome" played any part in the request for a chopper. In the fire district I used to work at, there was one medic who flew everything. Which was actually better for the Pt, as he is one of the worst medic's I know.

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I'd be curious to see if the "lazy medic syndrome" played any part in the request for a chopper. In the fire district I used to work at, there was one medic who flew everything. Which was actually better for the Pt, as he is one of the worst medic's I know.

True........wouldnt want the medic to work now....

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The "Golden Hour," what a magnificent farce. From what I can tell, it was a really neat concept that grabbed medical providers and the public's attention, resulting in funding for somebody's pet project. Something to do with buying cool new helicopters for a hospital. :wink:

Take care,

chbare.

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