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Offshore Helicopter Water Rescue


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#1 C3 Inc.

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 05:44 AM

Some ground rules first... Pilots are welcome to join in, but I would rather see the Medical crews involvement. I don’t want you to be the one kid in class who answers everything without letting the people who need to learn this, have a chance to think or reason. So, with that in mind, I would appreciate the Pilots waiting until the conclusion to offer critical input, suggestions, or critique.

I promise you one thing... I will not evoke any Pilot bashing or otherwise, as this is something new to help educate the forumn. Obviously, Pilots have great insight and I will like to have a special time for their input. Then, discussions...sound good? We will list something like...Pilots turn to add insight, cool?

The call...

You are working at a remote single helicopter base, operating under Title 14 CFR Part 135 Regulations. Current reports of weather at the time of dispatch are as follows:
500 feet ceiling and 5 miles visibility. At 1751 an automated weather reporting facility located about 22-nautical miles to the northwest reported winds from 030 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 1,000- feet, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 51 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.05 inches of Mercury.

We are operating a Bell 206 L1 Helicopter equipped for water rescue operations and equipped with skid type floatation gear. Nicely equipped with Nexrad, TCAS, TAWS, and a GNS 530 with HSI and a 430 slaved. Mode S Transponder with altitude reporting capabilities, which is giving us our traffic.

Is the weather legal to fly per FAA and per CAMTS? And also, what equipment and training is required for this operation?
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Richard A. Patterson
MBA, NR/CCEMT-P, MICP, FP-C, CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI
Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
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#2 C3 Inc.

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:57 PM

Some ground rules first... Pilots are welcome to join in, but I would rather see the Medical crews involvement. I don’t want you to be the one kid in class who answers everything without letting the people who need to learn this, have a chance to think or reason. So, with that in mind, I would appreciate the Pilots waiting until the conclusion to offer critical input, suggestions, or critique.

I promise you one thing... I will not evoke any Pilot bashing or otherwise, as this is something new to help educate the forumn. Obviously, Pilots have great insight and I will like to have a special time for their input. Then, discussions...sound good? We will list something like...Pilots turn to add insight, cool?

The call...

You are working at a remote single helicopter base, operating under Title 14 CFR Part 135 Regulations. Current reports of weather at the time of dispatch are as follows:
500 feet ceiling and 5 miles visibility. At 1751 an automated weather reporting facility located about 22-nautical miles to the northwest reported winds from 030 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 1,000- feet, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 51 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.05 inches of Mercury.

We are operating a Bell 206 L1 Helicopter equipped for water rescue operations and equipped with skid type floatation gear. Nicely equipped with Nexrad, TCAS, TAWS, and a GNS 530 with HSI and a 430 slaved. Mode S Transponder with altitude reporting capabilities, which is giving us our traffic.

Is the weather legal to fly per FAA and per CAMTS? And also, what equipment and training is required for this operation?


Is the weather legal to fly per FAA and per CAMTS? And also, what equipment and training is required for this operation? ANy concerns so far? (Besides the 206... we will get to that last)
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
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#3 josh.dickson

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 11:42 AM

Is the weather legal to fly per FAA and per CAMTS? And also, what equipment and training is required for this operation? ANy concerns so far? (Besides the 206... we will get to that last)


The title implies we are doing some sort of recovery or hoist work. Was that your intent?

So far not legal under my standards (206 offshore, no way dude)
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#4 C3 Inc.

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 05:34 PM

The title implies we are doing some sort of recovery or hoist work. Was that your intent?

So far not legal under my standards (206 offshore, no way dude)


Um, believe it or not, this was an actual flight...right off the NTSB website. (Maybe not the injury, but was trying to make it fun)

Requirements for extended overwater operations... Title 14 CFR Part 135.167 states as follows: (Extended is basically if you cannot auto-rotate safely to the other side in the event of a failure)

(1) Approved life preserver equipped with a survivor locator light
(2) Liferaft to accomidate occupants
Liferafts must have locator light, and one pyrotechnic signalling device, survival kit, canopy, signalling mirror,, raft repair kit, bailing bucket, radar reflector, police whistle, knife, co2 bottle for emergent reinflation, pump, couple oars, 75 foot retaining line, compass, dye marker, and a lashlight with at least a 2 "d" cell capacity. (This is required even if your not over water btw)

Believe it or not, a 2 day supply of rations with at least 1000 caloric intake, For every 2 persons, 2 pints of water or 1 sea water distilling kit, fishing rod, and a little survival book to read on your leisure time.

And with this plethora or gear (Which is done everyday in the Gulf by multiple operators...most obviously have switched from 206's...but there is one operator still flying them almost extensively) an ELT is always required.

So can it be done? Sure...is it safe and would I want to? Probally not... of interest...we have a EC 135 that flies over water all the time when its up...Here on the Islands, there are NUMEROUS tour operators flying over water hourly...passenger briefs more extensive, floatation gear, etc. Everyone is issues a fanny pack, pre-packed. (And NO...I do EMS and not tours for a living)

Now, these same requirements are pretty much the same for airplanes as well. (SFARS deal with construction of panels inside, interiors, construction etc of aircraft doing so)

So original questions...what about the weather...anyone? Is it legal (FAA) and would CAMTS be ok with it?
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Richard A. Patterson
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#5 Macgyver

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 10:59 PM

Bear with me as my background is medical and FW . . .

[quote]We are operating a Bell 206 L1 Helicopter equipped for water rescue operations and equipped with skid type floatation gear. Nicely equipped with Nexrad, TCAS, TAWS, and a GNS 530 with HSI and a 430 slaved. Mode S Transponder with altitude reporting capabilities, which is giving us our traffic.[/quote]

That's all very nice, but over water TAWS is of limited utility, the skid floats will at least keep the wreckage afloat and aid in recovering our bodies if we crash, TCAS likely will not be an issue as no-one else is apparently out there (since they called us). NEXRAD will be useful given the paucity of AWOS, the transponder and realtime traffic might also be useful. The rest is greek to me...

Are we a CAMTS program? How strong is the safety culture (really, not officially), what support do pilots have from the Chief Pilot / safety officer against upper management / the rig operator etc if they turn down a flight? Do other operators (and us) use www.weatherturndowns.com? If so - what does it show?

[quote]You are working at a remote single helicopter base, operating under Title 14 CFR Part 135 Regulations. Current reports of weather at the time of dispatch are as follows: 500 feet ceiling and 5 miles visibility.[/quote]

So far we are staying put under CAMTS, although legal under FARS. I am tempted to ask the objective of the assigned launch - not medical details but general concept of operations. Is this a medical evacuation mission to a ship? a hoist from the sea, a supply drop? ferrying a crewmember between platforms? Repositioning?

[quote]At 1751 an automated weather reporting facility located about 22-nautical miles to the northwest reported winds from 030 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 1,000- feet, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 51 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.05 inches of Mercury.[/quote]

If I understand these values, we have a system passing slowly north of us from east to west that has CAMTS adequate visibility, but it is still unclear if it is wide enough to catch us in its edge as it passes to allow liftoff. The dewpoint/temp spread concerns me - 1751 means the heat of day is past so temp will fall possibly leading to surface fog or an increase in cloud depth (thus lowered ceiling and possibly also visibility). Is the barometer rising or falling? What is the current and recent temperatures and pressures at our base?

As far as equipment - the aircraft should have all the FAR mandated survival and safety equipment, are we SPIFR equipped or a VFR ship? Are there any open MEL's? It would be nice to have NVG as it will be dark soon, but FLIR would be more useful. Pipe dreams - we're in a 206!

Training wise - how recent/extensive is my IFR experience? Currency training? When was the last time I went IIMC (in training of course...)
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#6 BackcountryMedic

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 11:05 PM

Will both legs be day ops or will night be closing in soon? NVG's?
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#7 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 01:57 AM

"That's all very nice, but over water TAWS is of limited utility" Why? There was actually a recall of databases a year about on this topic... and they had to be replaced because of something you are hitting on. What about towers or platforms...will these show up on TAWS?

"the skid floats will at least keep the wreckage afloat and aid in recovering our bodies if we crash", honestly...you are right on the money on this one, will the ship remain upright or overturn most likely?

"TCAS likely will not be an issue as no-one else is apparently out there" How does TCAS work and is it possible to "not" see other traffic and if so, why? And there very well could be other rig workers having shift change, exec's being transferred back and forth, could be cargo operations, charter work, any number of things. So, that chance is there...we always assume there is someone there, but where are they?

"NEXRAD will be useful given the paucity of AWOS" Very nice...anything to help is always an added benefit. There are a handful of handheld portable GPS units that gives you this...such as the Garmin 396 or 496 too btw, very reasonablly priced these days.

"Are we a CAMTS program?" Lets say not, maybe this program had an incident a year back that made their company decide to adhere to the stricter guidelines...good for PR too they said, even though they still are doing Part 91 on dead-legs.

"How strong is the safety culture" Lets say not so great, Pilots being forced to take missions, scared of job security, repercussions, etc. Management has a multi-million dollar contract on the line with a major oil exporter and their guy is hurt... we are contracted to get their sick or injured people, "we have to get him to safety", they said.

So far we are staying put under CAMTS, What does CAMTS guidelines say about rotor wing operations on weather min's...which by the way or the worst weather we can have...minimums = bad. And how about FAA? What does their say? As far as mission, we are to land, meet with their platform Medic, get report, and transfer him back to land where an Ambulance will be waiting our arrival.

Very good on the temp, night approaching, getting cooler, and potentials for fog. Anyone wanna take a stab at what type of fog typically comes in off the water? You made a mention of it being ok north of us, but what about the return trip? Nowhere to divert in case of bad weather or emergencies... good point on that. What do barometric pressures typically do as it gets colder? Do they go up or down and what do we care?

SPIFR equipped or a VFR ship Lets say the Pilot is Instrument rated, but not current...which seems to be the more common occurrence these days. Is something needed on this ship that we did not mention for it to be an Instrument ship? It may or may not have this...but what is it? MELS are fine...no issues there. Your right, NVG would be sweet...are they better or worse on open water without much celestial lighting? Why were at wishing we had FLIR...lets shoot for HUD too! Thats funny, good thinking!

And lastly...lets say this Pilot does the required 6 approaches, intercepting and tracking navaids etc within the 6 month period in type...therefore is considered current...thoughts? MSP was current also and had great gear on board...thoughts?
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
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Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#8 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 02:01 AM

Will both legs be day ops or will night be closing in soon? NVG's?


Hey backcountry...glad to see ya here, been a while. One leg; day, the return trip; night. The Pilot does not have NVG's... he is next on the list for the class though.
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
www.CriticalCareConcepts.net
Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#9 Macgyver

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 03:32 AM

TAWS: [quote]Why? There was actually a recall of databases a year about on this topic... and they had to be replaced because of something you are hitting on. What about towers or platforms...will these show up on TAWS?[/quote]

AFAIK TAWS that is GPS based relies on updated databases - but unless company keeps current may not 'see' things. Even if they do, the refresh rate for the database may not be adequate. EGPWS might be better (not sure) if linked to a forward scanning radar - not likely on a 206!

Skid floats: [quote]honestly...you are right on the money on this one, will the ship remain upright or overturn most likely?[/quote]

it will flip at the earliest opportunity. Even with a nice controlled set-down/landing - the first wave over a foot or so or any real wind will do it for you...

[quote]"TCAS likely will not be an issue as no-one else is apparently out there" How does TCAS work and is it possible to "not" see other traffic and if so, why? And there very well could be other rig workers having shift change, exec's being transferred back and forth, could be cargo operations, charter work, any number of things. So, that chance is there...we always assume there is someone there, but where are they?[/quote]

My thinking was with the prevailing conditions in the local area, 'optional' or non time-critical flights like crew changes will be on hold pending improvement thus no local traffic.

TCAS relies on transponders if I remember correctly - so if not filing with ATC or not using a generic transponder code / not using the transponder to broadcast altitude/ID etc you are invisible...can't remember if there are passive transponders out there that only reply if interrogated by another unit (like the military IFF systems) but even in a well equipped VFR 206 that would be unlikely

So far we are staying put under CAMTS, - and given the 91 use on returning legs I'm betting OPS will want you to launch 91 as well so thus legal per FAA. So much for being a part 135 program that elects to "follow CAMTS standards"

[quote]As far as mission, we are to land, meet with their platform Medic, get report, and transfer him back to land where an Ambulance will be waiting our arrival.[/quote]

Thats all good. We can spend the rest of the night on land in a bar!

[quote]wanna take a stab at what type of fog typically comes in off the water?[/quote]

There's more than one type? (kind of like Eskimo words for snow huh?)

[quote]What do barometric pressures typically do as it gets colder? Do they go up or down and what do we care?[/quote]

As air cools it gets denser = better lift but also higher pressures. May mask an overall trend of worsening conditions? (falling barometer due to low pressure system moving in?)

[quote]Is something needed on this ship that we did not mention for it to be an Instrument ship?[/quote]

Since you ask - probably! OpSpecs that cover IFR? appropriate IFR instrumentation package (backup analog for glass etc?

[quote]NVG would be sweet...are they better or worse on open water without much celestial lighting?[/quote]

Worse - they rely on ambient light (or a compatible artificial source) to work. No moon (low ceiling) = dark night, no reflections off water - false sense of security. Also don't work in fog/cloud

[quote]Why were at wishing we had FLIR[/quote]

See above - FLIR will see heat differences thus through fog/cloud to some extent, also will see diferences between land etc and water (for when we approach land or other manmade structures)

[quote]And lastly...lets say this Pilot does the required 6 approaches, intercepting and tracking navaids etc within the 6 month period in type...therefore is considered current...thoughts?[/quote]

Yeah, and I did a tube last week. Those are minimums - without SIGNIFICANT experience to provide a baseline they are inadequate. (BTW - 6 months since last (OR) tube - no problems. Why? a ton of starts in school (~130) and a lot of field experience. If I was a recent grad of a US school - even in Oregon, the psychomotor memory wouldn't be there to carry me)
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#10 scottyb

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 12:34 PM

Hey backcountry...glad to see ya here, been a while. One leg; day, the return trip; night. The Pilot does not have NVG's... he is next on the list for the class though.

Hi Richard...

Hmmm.....if only there was a different airframe involved in this scenario, instead of a 206. That coupled with the pilot and crew not having night vision capability I am going to say no on this one.
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#11 BackcountryMedic

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 01:34 PM

Hey backcountry...glad to see ya here, been a while. One leg; day, the return trip; night. The Pilot does not have NVG's... he is next on the list for the class though.


Next isn't now. I don't have any experience w/ TAWS, but I would feel more comfy with NVG's.

If this is a non-mountainous, cross country, aided flight we need 1000/3. In the OP you said we had 500/5 at the site. Right there it is not a legal flight. The nearest Wx station may be reporting 1000/10, BUT it is 22nm away and temp/dew point are converging. I don't fly in the Gulf, so I'm not familiar with local Wx patterns, but with night coming on I'ld imagine it's going to cool down enough for fog.

Sounds like a no.
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#12 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 06:37 PM

Next isn't now. I don't have any experience w/ TAWS, but I would feel more comfy with NVG's.

If this is a non-mountainous, cross country, aided flight we need 1000/3. In the OP you said we had 500/5 at the site. Right there it is not a legal flight. The nearest Wx station may be reporting 1000/10, BUT it is 22nm away and temp/dew point are converging. I don't fly in the Gulf, so I'm not familiar with local Wx patterns, but with night coming on I'ld imagine it's going to cool down enough for fog.

Sounds like a no.


1000/3 is for fixed wing flight, Helicopters are alot different depending on the airspace designation...many times flying where they are "clear of clouds" and see and avoid. At an altitude that allows a safe landing in case of an engine failure without undue harm to persons or property on the ground. So, if that is 500 feet in some places. Again, it depends on where the airspace is, lets say this is uncontrolled.

I know many of us are not happy with the 206, nor am I...but it is what it is. Our main focus is really the developing weather. So, are most on board with saying no so far?
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Richard A. Patterson
MBA, NR/CCEMT-P, MICP, FP-C, CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI
Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
www.CriticalCareConcepts.net
Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#13 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 06:38 PM

1000/3 is for fixed wing flight, Helicopters are alot different depending on the airspace designation...many times flying where they are "clear of clouds" and see and avoid. At an altitude that allows a safe landing in case of an engine failure without undue harm to persons or property on the ground. So, if that is 500 feet in some places. Again, it depends on where the airspace is, lets say this is uncontrolled.

I know many of us are not happy with the 206, nor am I...but it is what it is. Our main focus is really the developing weather. So, are most on board with saying no so far?


PILOTS TURN...INPUT?
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
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Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#14 HEMSLAWS

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 07:46 PM

1000/3 is for fixed wing flight, Helicopters are alot different depending on the airspace designation...many times flying where they are "clear of clouds" and see and avoid. At an altitude that allows a safe landing in case of an engine failure without undue harm to persons or property on the ground. So, if that is 500 feet in some places. Again, it depends on where the airspace is, lets say this is uncontrolled.

I know many of us are not happy with the 206, nor am I...but it is what it is. Our main focus is really the developing weather. So, are most on board with saying no so far?


You better revisit A021.
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#15 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:25 PM

You better revisit A021.


What subsection...do not see what you are referring to.

I hope your not referencing the interior certifications section... Dont see what you reference on weather...
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
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#16 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:43 PM

What subsection...do not see what you are referring to.

I hope your not referencing the interior certifications section... Dont see what you reference on weather...


Disregard... HEMSLAW is referring to recent changes for HELS operators this year with regards to weather and crew rest requirements. Here is the Ops Sec overview for those who have not seen this.

Currently, operators can conduct positioning flights under less restrictive Part 91 regulations — which have lower
VFR weather minimums and no crew rest requirements — if medical patients are not in the helicopter. According
to the report, of the 55 helicopter EMS accidents investigated by the NTSB between January 2002 and January
2005, 10 flights were operating under the less stringent requirements of Part 91 and would not have met
authorized weather minimums if they had been required to operate under Part 135.

Not us...

“An EMS positioning flight does not fit the traditional definition of a positioning flight, which involves flying an
empty aircraft from one location to another for future operations,” the NTSB report stated. “Rather, a positioning
flight in EMS operations is a critical part of transporting medical personnel to a patient’s location or returning from
a patient drop‐off; therefore, the positioning legs of flights should not be separated from the patienttransportation
leg.”

Again, nothing to do with what we are referencing...

Operations Specification A021 now reads: “If the purpose of a flight or sequence of flights includes a Part 135
segment, then all VFR segments of the flight, including the tail‐end ferry flight, must be conducted either in
accordance with the applicable weather minimums… and the flight planning requirements… or under IFR.”

Those applicable VFR weather minimums have been raised. Also, night‐time weather minimums — which were
previously determined by whether conditions were high‐light or low‐light — are now dependent upon an
operator’s use or non‐use of night vision imaging systems (NVIS) and/or terrain awareness warning systems
(TAWS).

This is good...applicable for sure

In non‐mountainous terrain, operators with NVIS or TAWS can operate with 800‐foot ceilings on local flights at
night, as opposed to the 1,000‐foot ceilings required for operators without NVIS or TWAS. On cross‐country flights
in non‐mountainous terrain, NVIS/TWAS operators only need three miles of visibility, while other operators need
five.

Absolutely, Off texas or LA coast is non mountainous for sure

In a position paper on the changes published by the National EMS Pilots Association, Vicky Spediacci of the
NEMSPA board of directors stated: “We believe the FAA’s intent is to encourage operators to procure state‐of‐theart
equipment for their operations by providing a small amount of relief in the form of slightly lower weather
minimums.”

It then gets into IFR regulations and requirements for airports without weather reporting stations within 15 miles, etc. Not applicable to us in this case...


If no such sources are available, they may use the appropriate area forecast. Spediacci called the provisions a “huge benefit for IFR operations within the HEMS community.”
Finally, the new Ops Spec A021 has additional VFR preflight planning requirements. EMS pilots must determine minimum safe cruise altitudes by evaluating terrain and obstacles along their planned route of flight, providing for
300 feet of obstacle clearance during daytime operations, or 500 feet at night. In the FAA’s original proposal, pilots
would have been required to establish obstacle clearance in a “corridor” along the planned route of flight, but the NEMSPA and others objected that this would be an unreasonable operational burden.
“Clearly, the FAA wanted to enact restrictions that would ensure that no HEMS aircraft would run into anything in the night,” Spediacci wrote in the position paper. “We certainly support their intent, but disagreed with their
methodology.

Thanks for adding this HEMS... defiantelly good infor for Air Med folks to be familisr with.
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Richard A. Patterson
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Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
www.CriticalCareConcepts.net
Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#17 C3 Inc.

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:50 PM

Disregard... HEMSLAW is referring to recent changes for HELS operators this year with regards to weather and crew rest requirements. Here is the Ops Sec overview for those who have not seen this.

Currently, operators can conduct positioning flights under less restrictive Part 91 regulations — which have lower
VFR weather minimums and no crew rest requirements — if medical patients are not in the helicopter. According
to the report, of the 55 helicopter EMS accidents investigated by the NTSB between January 2002 and January
2005, 10 flights were operating under the less stringent requirements of Part 91 and would not have met
authorized weather minimums if they had been required to operate under Part 135.

Not us...

“An EMS positioning flight does not fit the traditional definition of a positioning flight, which involves flying an
empty aircraft from one location to another for future operations,” the NTSB report stated. “Rather, a positioning
flight in EMS operations is a critical part of transporting medical personnel to a patient’s location or returning from
a patient drop‐off; therefore, the positioning legs of flights should not be separated from the patienttransportation
leg.”

Again, nothing to do with what we are referencing...

Operations Specification A021 now reads: “If the purpose of a flight or sequence of flights includes a Part 135
segment, then all VFR segments of the flight, including the tail‐end ferry flight, must be conducted either in
accordance with the applicable weather minimums… and the flight planning requirements… or under IFR.”

Those applicable VFR weather minimums have been raised. Also, night‐time weather minimums — which were
previously determined by whether conditions were high‐light or low‐light — are now dependent upon an
operator’s use or non‐use of night vision imaging systems (NVIS) and/or terrain awareness warning systems
(TAWS).

This is good...applicable for sure

In non‐mountainous terrain, operators with NVIS or TAWS can operate with 800‐foot ceilings on local flights at
night, as opposed to the 1,000‐foot ceilings required for operators without NVIS or TWAS. On cross‐country flights
in non‐mountainous terrain, NVIS/TWAS operators only need three miles of visibility, while other operators need
five.

Absolutely, Off texas or LA coast is non mountainous for sure

In a position paper on the changes published by the National EMS Pilots Association, Vicky Spediacci of the
NEMSPA board of directors stated: “We believe the FAA’s intent is to encourage operators to procure state‐of‐theart
equipment for their operations by providing a small amount of relief in the form of slightly lower weather
minimums.”

It then gets into IFR regulations and requirements for airports without weather reporting stations within 15 miles, etc. Not applicable to us in this case...
If no such sources are available, they may use the appropriate area forecast. Spediacci called the provisions a “huge benefit for IFR operations within the HEMS community.”
Finally, the new Ops Spec A021 has additional VFR preflight planning requirements. EMS pilots must determine minimum safe cruise altitudes by evaluating terrain and obstacles along their planned route of flight, providing for
300 feet of obstacle clearance during daytime operations, or 500 feet at night. In the FAA’s original proposal, pilots
would have been required to establish obstacle clearance in a “corridor” along the planned route of flight, but the NEMSPA and others objected that this would be an unreasonable operational burden.
“Clearly, the FAA wanted to enact restrictions that would ensure that no HEMS aircraft would run into anything in the night,” Spediacci wrote in the position paper. “We certainly support their intent, but disagreed with their
methodology.

Thanks for adding this HEMS... defiantelly good infor for Air Med folks to be familisr with.


HEMS would you accept that flight? Why or why not? xWhat is concerning to you about the weather and patient transport location? This happens to be an oil platform contract agency to relocate to crew, so this changes things a bit with regard to their normal operations... All these platforms have Medical personnel, and many times they do not fly on a daily bases. I worked a year in the Gulf and may have flown only 2 people in the entire year to Trinidad or Mexico City where we transported and turned them over to the crews there...What was scary was, we were not a normal EMS operation like many of us are used to, the Pilot sure does not do this on a daily bases as he is mostly doing crew changes and such.

Whats your thoughts on this case study...? We will wrap it up here soon...so far the concensus is NOT to take the flight I believe? Absolute on CAMTS...as a NO as well. So, can we do it and would we?

We've heard alot of discussion on dew point spread, it is so good that the crews are thinking about what is happening, what is sure to come (getting colder as night approaches) and looking at movement of the front... what gets this Pilot is actually not the system, per se, but what comes with it...the wind. Definatelly not a CFIT scene like we have been seeing so much lately.
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Richard A. Patterson
MBA, NR/CCEMT-P, MICP, FP-C, CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI
Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
www.CriticalCareConcepts.net
Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#18 Macgyver

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 11:21 PM

You better revisit A021.

HEMSLAW is referring to recent changes for HEMS operators this year with regards to weather and crew rest requirements. Here is the Ops Sec overview for those who have not seen this . . . Currently, operators can conduct positioning flights under less restrictive Part 91 regulations — which have lower VFR weather minimums and no crew rest requirements — if medical patients are not in the helicopter.


Correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't this an unenforceable ADVISORY? At least for now...

Another thing that has always perplexed me - how is it that an operator provides a helicopter, pilots and maintenance to some sort of medical corporation, but gets to fly part 91 on ANY legs when medical crew (employees of another company) are an board?

Isn't that essentially the definition of an on-call charter flight? (granted one with a high frequency of utilization and a contractual obligation to have a bird/PIC available for short notice trips) Seems to me the medical crew are just as much a charter client as the businessman who books a flight from a FBO based carrier his company has an agreement with...

Except for the minor detail that he can refuse to fly whereas the medical crews often face disciplinary notice/action if they do.
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Ken BHSc, RN, REMT-P

#19 Mike Mims

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 02:23 AM

You better revisit A021.

The HEMS A021 Safety Enhancement can be found Here
Look for: Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operations

If you want to see who responded to the changes and their comments, click on the Open Docket Folder to the right side under Actions.
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Mike Mims

Aircare

University of Mississippi Medical Center


#20 streetsurgeon

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 03:31 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't this an unenforceable ADVISORY? At least for now...

Another thing that has always perplexed me - how is it that an operator provides a helicopter, pilots and maintenance to some sort of medical corporation, but gets to fly part 91 on ANY legs when medical crew (employees of another company) are an board?

Isn't that essentially the definition of an on-call charter flight? (granted one with a high frequency of utilization and a contractual obligation to have a bird/PIC available for short notice trips) Seems to me the medical crew are just as much a charter client as the businessman who books a flight from a FBO based carrier his company has an agreement with...

Except for the minor detail that he can refuse to fly whereas the medical crews often face disciplinary notice/action if they do.

I'm not that knowledgable about Part 91 as we are always 135 but... I think that is why the Feds want to change airmedical to Part 135 all of the time...to provide protection to all of the crew from the company. If a person faces "disciplinary notice/action" for refusing to fly for a safety reason they need to find a new place to work...it's only a matter of time before something bad happens there.
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Steven Malarchick, RN, FP-C