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Allowing non pilots to fly HEMS

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Allowing non pilots to fly HEMS

Old 3rd Apr 2013, 09:09
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Allowing non pilots to fly HEMS

Hello fellow rotorheads,

I was wondering about the regulations regarding non pilots actually touching controls in a commercial flight (hems). I cant seen to find it in the JAR OPS.

I know in most european countries, the copilot side controls are taken out when there is a hems crew menber who is not a pilot or rated on type.

Any thoughts on this and any idea on where i can find the regulation?

Reason for asking is that the company is getting rid of the copilots and rather having the nurse sitting upfront. But captains still want dual controls and teach the nurse basic flying so that they can take controls in case of an emergency where the captain is incapacitated. But i know for a fact, that if dual controls are in, the nurse will probably be doing quite a lot hands on flying.

This is a huge setback to new pilots, i find it humiliating that a nurse gets taught basic handling and gets to actually pilot a multiengine turbine aircraft.

Anyone got a clue?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 09:27
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You don't state which part of the world you're in, but under European rules it's illegal for a passenger to take control of a commercial / public transport flight.

Maybe you need to point this out to those involved:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FOD201021.pdf
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 09:36
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Thank you so much for the reply!

This is in europe, so under JAR or EASA regs. The nurses will recieve a course by the company to learn basic map navigation and how to use the GPS (enter coordinates etc).

The helicopter type is EC135, so it is single pilot.

Is there a regulations or requierement to remove dual controls in a helicopter where a non pilot is sitting? Remind you this is HEMS, not instruction.

Last edited by Chorbington; 3rd Apr 2013 at 09:37.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 10:07
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Please read here:

My opinion is that "nurse" must be part 66 type rated or at last PPL H rated on type

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 965/2012

of 5 October 2012

laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations
pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council
Links:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/Lex ... 148N:PDF
Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012

http://easa.europa.eu/agency-measures/a ... aking-2012
Agency Decisions with associated Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material

http://easa.europa.eu/flightstandards/d ... ion01.xlsx
Detailed list of differences between the new Regulation and EU-OPS / JAR-OPS

EASA Flight Standards
EASA Flight Standards Website

Last edited by 9Aplus; 3rd Apr 2013 at 10:09.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 10:08
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It is quite normal practice in Oz to have SPIFR HEMS with a trained crewman in the LH seat, able to set radios/GPS, read charts and generally help in the cockpit. NVD qualified to assist in lookout, too, and duals are never considered an issue as most of them have enough CDF to be a good backup in an emergency.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 10:38
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This is a huge setback to new pilots, i find it humiliating that a nurse gets taught basic handling and gets to actually pilot a multiengine turbine aircraft.
They don't. Like the others said, NAV and Radio it is.
The EMS aircraft I know of are not fitted with dual controls unless flying with a rated pilot receiving EMS training.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 12:13
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Most original excuse ever heard to chat up a sheila, must be a good boss.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 14:28
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What does the POH say??? I guess " if a person, not holding a valid license, is occupiing the left hand seat, dual controls must be removed", something of that sort, one might think. SO check that. Cause if something happens and you disobeied the POH your in deep sh*t!
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 15:18
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Don't forget about the all mighty insurance company too....they may have something to say about duals being installed with a non-aircrew person in the seat.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 16:22
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Passengers aren't even allowed to use the radios under European rules.

Dispensation for most things can be sought but I'd be wary of not doing so.
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 16:55
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My experience

In the U.S. the co-pilot seat is used on many aircraft including the BK, 135, 145 etc. The controls are removed when not being used for pilot training. On the extremely rare occasion when the duals might be installed during an actual HEMS flight, the medic or nurse are instructed to never touch the controls. Also, extra care and additional briefings should be given each time the medic or nurse enter or exit the aircraft cautioning them about bumping the controls.

As for the radios, medcrew are allowed to talk to a scene commander (fire captain, law enforcement etc), or the receiving hospital. They do not talk to ATC under any circumstances. I also found it a great help to have them program the GPS if they knew how and also to tune radios for me if I was busy.

We also had a book containing a picture and description of the many pads and some remote LZ's and they would review that information with us. That was a great help because many times we would fly into a hospital we had not been to and, for example, they had specific approach and departure paths etc. that were required to be used. I also thought that training them on reading the basic IIMC instruction card was invaluable and also some training on deciphering an approach plate for IIMC. Also, med crew can be trained to open up the RFM and read emergency procedure steps as a back up to your actions.

All of this depends on the level of training and commitment of management. I flew in one program that required training in all of these items and I personally found it to be a great help. I also worked with a pilot who absolutely abhorred medcrew from touching anything in the aircraft including radios, books, maps...anything. To bad as they can be of great service, especially in times of heightened adrenaline levels.

cheers
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 22:47
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Long ago and far away in my very distant youth, our military crewmen (who first qualified as maintenance engineers) were forbidden to touch the flying controls, except to keep the aircraft straight and level in non-autopilot machines.

They were trained as winch operators, air gunners and basic map readers and when hovering beside cliffs, over ships and into clearings or lifting underslung loads, our lives were in their hands.

Naturally we wanted them to be able to take control and get us to somewhere safe if ever we became incapacitated, so we ensured that they could hover and land as well as we could. Our generals were probably aware of this, but chose not to ask questions.

I know of two incidents where our disobedience saved lives. In one memorable case a bullet hit the cyclic grip and shattered the pilots right hand, causing him to pass out from shock. Although the co-pilot controls had been removed to accommodate the ammo magazine box, the crewman leant across the pilot's shoulder and grabbed the cyclic and collective.

After a while the pilot regained consciousness and was able to operate the rudder pedals while the crewman performed a running landing back at the military airfield.

I rest my case, Your Honour.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 05:09
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And how much incoming fire does the average HEMS helicopter draw?

To me there is a huge difference between training someone who is trained to work on helicopters, in helicopters as part of mission essential crew and exceeding the requirement for "straight and level" to zero speed situations to taking someone from a totally different prpofessional environment and allowing them to play with the controls "just because it seems a good idea".

Having flown HEMS myself I never felt that their RT course and map reading made these outstanding guys even remotely close to being able to manipulate helicopter controls. So part of their job was to ensure their pilot was fit to fly and when in doubt, refuse to fly.

The risk of something bad happening when the HEMS crewmember exits the helicopter rotors running at the scene of the incident and knocks the controls is a lot higher than the chance of the crewmember saving the day because his pilot becomes incapacitated.

Horses for courses. The operator clearly feels it a waste of money to employ properly trained copilots for the job. If you feel that you need an extra pilot, that is where the fight needs to to be taken, not "solved" at workfloor level.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 06:50
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Specious argument.

If the pilot collapses forward onto the controls, you will be upside down and dead before being able to push him back, hold him there, and then work the cyclic.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 06:59
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Originally Posted by S76Heavy View Post
The risk of something bad happening when the HEMS crewmember exits the helicopter rotors running at the scene of the incident and knocks the controls is a lot higher than the chance of the crewmember saving the day because his pilot becomes incapacitated.
Might I suggest that you shouldn't exit rotors running? What is to be gained by not waiting a minute for the shutdown, especially if the front seat 'crew' is ancillary to the more qualified paramedic in the back?

As AC stated, a fairly lame argument against having another set of hands and eyes to help in the front, IMO.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 07:54
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The reason to send a helicopter instead of another ambulance is:
Time.

30 seconds can make a difference-and can safe lives.

The crew on board of a HEMS aircraft are highly trained professionals (or should be, at least)-there is no need to stop the rotor before the medics get out....

Have you ever seen fire fighters sitting in their truck in front of a burning house, waiting for the driver to cut the engine?

I totally agree to the statement that the HEMS aircrew member should not touch the controls...
If the company wanted a pilot in that seat, they will have to pay for one.
If the HEMS crewmember wanted to become a pilot, he could have chosen a different career path....

No pilot should "train" a non-licensed pilot without passing an instructors course before, anyway....

Last edited by hueyracer; 4th Apr 2013 at 07:56.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 08:27
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Hueyracer,

I guess that we'll have to agree to disagree. HEMS is seldom (if ever) the first responder, and there would normally be a road crew there well before the arrival of the helicopter. They will already be looking after the cas and prepping for transfer to a trauma hospital, so another minute getting out of the machine, gathering bags and joining the scene is unlikely to make any difference.

Your fire truck analogy could be better: apart from the fact that big red truck drivers don't cut the engine unless they don't want to pump water
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 09:09
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@John:
HEMS is seldom (if ever) the first responder, and there would normally be a road crew there well before the arrival of the helicopter.
Disagree! ( at least for germany) The helicopter ist first on scene or arrives with the groundforces at same time in most cases,

skadi

Last edited by skadi; 4th Apr 2013 at 09:11.
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 09:31
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skadi,

Thanks: I'd overlooked the excellent ADAC service. My apologies
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Old 4th Apr 2013, 10:06
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@John Eacott: my experiences are similar to Hueyracer's.

Both the doctor and the crewmember disembarked Rotors running, the doctor to get on scene asap and the crewmember usually to prevent others from injuring themselves on a helicopter in the cooling down phase.

We trained our doctors and crewmembers to do so safely. But it becomes anonther ballgame if there are controls mounted.
Flying offshore now I am reminded of this every time we do a hot refuel offshore and one pilot struggles to exit without thumping the controls. And the adrenalin rush is a lot less than on HEMS.
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