Terry Terrell’s comments about the causes of HEMS accidents (See October 2012, EMS Helicopter Safety 2012 Perspective, page 62) are spot on. I have 45 years in the industry and this is a great concise description of what makes EMS flying the most dangerous job in the U.S. Pilots must learn that if they don’t return safely today they can never save anyone again. This could also be applied to the U.S. Army. The combat loss vs. non-combat loss ratio has not changed in 45 years.
R&W’s Question of the Month How do you think that advancements in in-flight connectivity will benefit helicopter operators? Let us know, and look for your and others’ responses in a future issue. You’ll find contact information below.
In response to R&W’s question about HEMS safety in the October issue, I have never flown EMS civilian, but I have flown what the Army calls MEDVAC chase (a non-MEDVAC helicopter chasing the MEDVAC helicopter for a back-up. I did this for my last deployment to Iraq and will possibly do it again for my Afghanistan deployment. Most of the accidents that occurred on my deployment were not from enemy fire and mostly due to a lack of training and proficiency. I understand that the civilian world does not have the luxury of doing flight training like the military, but generally speaking a well-trained crew tends to mitigate accidents. Reducing accidents is just like any other type of science field, you take measurements and adjust.
It will cost HEMS companies but to reduce the accident rate time money and adjustments will have to be applied to the HEMS. When measurements are made to something, i.e. such as looking at accident rate, type of accidents and proficiency and experienced involved; will yield information. Once the pertinent information/measurements are taken, only then will accidents be mitigated in the HEMS community.
CW3 Stephen Harper
Alpha Company PA Army National Guard
Instructor Pilot, Safety Officer UH-60
Abingdon, Md.From Facebook
The following comments appeared at: facebook.com/rotorandwing
Moooooooooooooove, it you two.
Now hold still, you are just the right distance apart for the skids.
“Can’t swat that high with my tail. Can you? Damn flies!”
Modern day cowboys.
Stephen John Whitehorn
Ten feet lower and we’re gonna have roast beef sandwiches!
James Lee Stewart
“Who wants chopped brisket?”
The following comments appeared at: twitter.com/rotorandwing
@NZAircraftFan: One cow to the other: “If we just ignore that R22 it will go away.”
@Ginger_of_Tech: Don’t just gralife by the horns... Grab it by the cyclic