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Southampton ATC - Medevac fob off

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Southampton ATC - Medevac fob off

Old 4th Nov 2010, 14:12
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Medevac Trislander sent away at SOU

BBC News - Southampton Airport closure diverts medical plane shows that because the Aurigny Trislander got in at 2310 rather than 2300, SOU told it to go elsewhere.

Woman had head injuries, Tri had to fly to Bounemouth and ambulance had to drive there to get her back to Southampton hospital!!! NATS controller couldn't wait another 10 minutes.

Any explanations?

Last edited by Aero Mad; 5th Nov 2010 at 19:25.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 14:34
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SRATCOH?.... Perhaps the ATCO felt he/she was not comfortable providing an extra 10+ minutes due to fatigue?
Did flight have Ambulance status? And if not was it made clear?
Its not always just as simple as staying on for a another 10 minutes even under these circumstances.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 14:36
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Difficult to believe it had anything to do with ATC. I suspect that for a variety of reasons the airfield had to close at a particular time - safety services, aerodrome licence, etc. ATC is just one factor. I'm certain that if it had been possible to keep the airfield open the controller would have been only too happy to agree to a few minutes extension.

What worries me more is the fact that the ambulance had to drive to Bournemouth. Would it not have been possible to get a local ambulance from Bournemouth to take over?
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 16:03
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I would also suspect it has something to do with the airport authority. Current reports don't exactly paint NATS in a good light though, do they? Good old corporate comms...
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 16:11
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If the airport was closed there probably wouldn't have been the required fire cover either.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 17:14
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All these posts are missing the point.

What would appear to be a filed aeromedical flight with a serious casualty on board was denied landing at the destination airport because it would arrive there ten minutes after normal closing time.

This ill-conceived action almost certainly put the patient at some risk.

The persons responsible for this casual indifference to a seriously ill pax should hang their heads in shame instead of muttering about "feeling a little tired" or offering other lame excuses.

Perhaps the flight had not been filed correctly, perhaps the inbound captain failed to pre-fix his calls with "This is an aeromedical flight" but if neither action was omitted this one looks as if it is down to Southampton's attitude towards passenger care.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 18:06
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Lou, agree with you totally.

However, with a flight number like GR999 and a flight time outside of any of Aurigny's normal schedule, I should say it is pretty damned obvious - SOU has taken Aurigny medevacs previously as well.

Come on, paper pushing should not even have the potential to cost lives
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 18:11
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You can't blame it on ATC.

Traditionally it is the Fire Brigade that dictate how long after closing time SOU stays open for. If they don't feel like a bit of overtime they just bugger off. Sometimes you can get an extension but more often than not you wont. I have witnessed aircraft being sent around from final at 2200 and diverted to BOH because they would land after the normal closing time.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 18:49
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Yes, but the article states that it was NATS with the staffing problem.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 19:01
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Everyone trust the media, they are 100% reliable
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 19:05
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Exactly

However it did state that they had said they would try to avoid such staffing issues in future. This implies someone who wrote the article spoke to a NATS source.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 19:10
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The Nats statement is: "We're working with Southampton Airport to try to ensure this does not happen again."

What "this" means could be a variety of things - it may even be a really, really bad corporate communications bod! The article seems to be hell-bent against Nats right from the start and isn't balanced journalism at all. The full-picture hasn't been painted and all we have is some blurry suggestions pathetically slapped together by some journo like a Claude Monet painting!
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 19:25
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Yeah - arguably BBC Local does sometimes leave a little to be desired!
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 20:53
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I can't believe that any UK ATCO would do this ifindeed was a properly filed medevac flight.
I think that all of us would have stayed on for as long as needed then filed a STRACOH report, equally, the same applies to all the AFS staff at all the airports I've previously worked at.
If, however, Auriegny had failed to make the Duty Manager at Southampton aware that it was indeed such a flight and the pilot failed to declare it as such, then there's only so long I would expect the Fire Service, or anyone else, to wait.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 23:52
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All these posts are missing the point................This ill-conceived action almost certainly put the patient at some risk.
I quite agree, I mean, is the slow, lumbering Trislander really suitable for transporting 'a seriously ill pax'? Shocking!
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 06:54
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Could the late departure of the medevac have anything to do with it? Perhaps this meant that SOU was not kept up to date, perhaps the fire and tower were already closed down by the time they called?
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 07:12
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Possibly it was a Tri-lander because Aurigny is contracted to provide ambulance flights in the Channel Islands?
Helen
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 07:18
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Yes Helen, although Blue Islands may also do Alderney - Guernsey (with an Islander - or maybe a Trislander if they still have one; situation uncertain).
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 07:55
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The Trislander is the most utterly dreadfully appalling aeroplane I have ever travelled in so I don't envy the patients..
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 07:55
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I can understand that NATS controllers would want to stand up for their colleagues - somebody has to - but the BBC quotes are quite clear. "On this occasion Nats were unable to provide staffing cover beyond our closing time" said the airport. They wouldn't say this if it was the ADM who refused the flight, or because the RFFS were unavailable, or because AUR had failed to make the flight status clear (out of hours, non-scheduled, mandatory flight-plan - sounds pretty clear to me.) Those who find it "difficult to believe it had anything to do with Southampton ATC" are unlikely to be ATCOs working on the south coast...

Anyway, I'd hardly suggest that the story had a happy ending, but at least Bournemouth were able to accept the flight. Let's hope the casualty's recovery is full and swift. As for the BBC's criticism, Southampton have been on the receiving end of uncritical BBC adulation for too long now, so: tough.

Heathrow Director: With a serious head injury, I really don't think you'd be worrying about the quality of the decor or the lack of in-flight entertainment, do you?
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