Flightmed archive for September-2001
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Flightmed archive for September-2001

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Flight Plans-Summary

At the request of the Flightweb administation, I have compiled all the
info I have received thus far from the 10 or so responses I received
into the following summary-

- We are a unique breed.  For a few hours, we (the air ambulance
industry) were the ONLY civilian blips on ANY radar screen in America.

- SAFETY seems to thankfully, remain the ultimate goal of all programs.
The newest safety element, though is being mindful that the other
aircraft out there are more often than not, US Military Planes, very
possibly coming in close for a look at our aircraft..."I would rather
not look out the window and see two F16's barreling down on us, which is
what happened to one program early on in the disaster stage" and ..."We
did get cancelled on a call late one night and shortly after turning
back we got a  visit from a very fast moving object. Not close enough
for us to see who it was, but close enough to let us know they were
	--I for one (of many) actually are GLAD "they" are out there!

- Many regions seem to have varying intrepretations of the latest
rulings, but communication with your local FAA Office, tower, and each
shift of controllers seems to be PARAMOUNT.  I don't know if Pizza would
help, but I wouldn’t be against sending them some, haha.  Some services
responded with specifics...
"The local tower has been facilitating that (obtaining sqwak, approach
control, etc) for us so there has been very little delay"
"One of our pilots worked out a system with the FAA.  Weather Scene or
IHT flight, We fax Houston Center with Our Make, Model, Year, and N
"A program in TN has a direct line to the local tower (FFA) so they do
not have to wait for a briefer to get done with other calls before they
get to a LifeGuard call. We in GA, have to wait our turn when we
"At Duke Life Flight...We have a great relationship with out local

The vast majority say this :
	-Safety First
	-YES, most are still filing some version of a flight plan, for
any type of flight, SCENE, IF, MAINT, or FUEL (except VFR only programs,
some do file, some don't, mine appears to be the only VFR filing IFR)
	-Don't even THINK about bucking the system or asking to buck the
	-CLOSE and CONSTANT communication with your area is a MUST.

Thanks again to all who are out there!

Tom Waters
Medical Air Transport of New Mexico

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