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Yorkshire Air Ambulance Signs for H145

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Yorkshire Air Ambulance Signs for H145

Old 8th Oct 2015, 20:12
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Yorkshire Air Ambulance Signs for H145

Just seen this on Helihub. Quote:

The new helicopter, fitted with a state of the art Bucher interior specifically customized to YAA’s emergency services requirements, will be equipped with a rescue hoist which, when combined with its reduced footprint, will enable YAA to provide critical care and transport for patients from remote or inaccessible places. The aircraft is designed with full night flying capabilities and a 4-axis autopilot.
End Quote.

Guess they don't want to rely on the MCA out of Humberside.

Another string (or should that be strand?) to a paramedic's bow - WinchOp.

Wonder if any more AA's will opt for hoists.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 12:07
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I thought such plans had been shelved before because they couldn't train HHO unless they were OEI capable in the hover - do the newer helos like the 145 have more power and better OEI capability?

As we have discussed on this forum before - taking a paramedic and turning him into a winchop or winchman takes lots of training to be safe - are the charities so flush with punter's cash they can waste it on such a little-needed capability.

SAR helicopters have an excellent and well practised capability and are there for a reason - ambulance authorities need to be regularly reminded of that.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 13:41
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SAR helicopters have an excellent and well practised capability and are there for a reason
Great comment from someone who has constantly lambasted Bristows over their perceived inability to take over the job at the same standard that was so well done in the past.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 11:54
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The devil is in the detail.

Yorkshire do not intend to 'winch'......

The ploy is to use the winch as a long line to move injured parties from inaccessible locations to another spot where a carry pick up [to land or air craft] can take place.

That significantly reduces the training requirement.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 21:38
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This sounds like very dodgy semantics - if you want to long line then use one of those - if you use a winch to do the same thing then you are winching.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 13:21
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I'd have thought HHO's would have to be fully trained in case it all went "Pete Tong". And there have been 2 cases of exactly that in the past couple of years in the UK alone - both involving highly trained and experienced crews.

Piece-meal training as PAnews suggests would only manifest the risk to both aircraft and casualty IMHO.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 21:58
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Exactly - anything else is just BS.
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Old 12th Oct 2015, 05:58
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AA 's and Hoisting

About the only justification I can see, having experienced both SAR and HEMS environments, is to use the hoist to insert the medical crew where landing is not possible.

I agree with CRAB that any subsequent lifting of a stretcher patient should be left to a properly trained SAR crew.

It may not be appreciated by the general population that the single greatest contribution to a patient's survival is the delivery of stabilising medical care delivered by trained doctors and paramedics. Subsequent transportation is rarely essential.

On the basis of risk/benefit the use of a hoist to deliver the medics is justified but that does not mean that it can be done without taking on the burden of some expensive training. During HEMS ops you can work outside the OEI HOGE envelope but as CRAB reminds us the training environment must be kosher OEI proof. Can a fully loaded 145 do that? Good question.

G ?
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Old 12th Oct 2015, 23:05
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Is there a different set of regs regarding aircraft performance once a patient is hooked compared to winching down a crewman?

Are regs and training less onerous in general to operate a winch if it is to be used by crew only?


Mickjoebill
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 05:05
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This hasn't really been thought through by YAA - long-lining a casualty, especially if on a stretcher, is fraught with danger - not least because the stretcher will start to spin.

So you could end up with a spinning stretcher on many feet of cable which will then start to swing as well when you start to move - now you either have to winch in or try to put the spinning, swinging stretcher back on the ground, possibly injuring the winchman/paramedic and worsening the casualty's condition.

If you are going to attempt to carry a casualty underneath the aircraft then you need to mitigate as many risks as possible, not least being equipment failure, and the best way of doing that is to keep them at a safe height. This requires either winching in and out as the aircraft is moved across the terrain/obstacles or climbing and descending the aircraft on the move (the sort of thing you really need to train for).

Then you have all the issues of mission creep - if the casualty is just on a steep slope that prevents landing then that is straightforward - now what about in a narrow gully or a wooded valley (done lots of those in the past).

The poor casualty could be faced with either a botched or abandoned attempt at rescue before a SAR helicopter is eventually requested much, much later.

The whole 'winching with an air ambulance' sketch is just empire building - stick to what you do (extremely well) and leave winching to SAR.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 05:06
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As far as I am aware....

... given the speed with which EASA is changing things, you would be allowed to operate without an OEI capability on a primary HEMS mission, this would apply to any hoisting ops too provided your national regulator had given approval. The problem is you can't achieve competence without:

a. Proper training and
b. constant practice.

For training and practice you need to be OEI capable as you are not on a live primary HEMS mission.

The problem is that given the host of different possible winching scenarios it's near impossible to get the hoist op and winch-man fully trained. It's the dilemma that haunts the SAR world too. At least they practice nearly every day so by all means deliver the medical team (see caveat below) but call in the experts when you need more complex winching ops. Dangling a couple of people on a wire looks easy but you would be surprised how many things can go wrong.

In a recent accident in Italy the crew were using the winch to position the medical crew and touched the cable on a live power line. The winch wire broke as a result. The two on the end of the wire fell about 20 feet and became the new patients. You can see that even that comparatively simple task - lowering two bods to the ground - can bite you in the arse if you don't have 'experience'.

You cannot teach experience but the next generation of simulators will be capable of allowing a lot more role training and i'm sure a hoisting trainer will be on their list.

G.

PS just read Crab's post. I empathise with his viewpoint but when flying HEMS the constant dilemma is finding suitable ad hoc landing sites and sometimes the 'risk management' issue slides the balance in favour of having a hoisting capability. Mission creep is an issue though. The very nature of the job means that adaptability and ingenuity are in the mix too. That also applies to SAR. In both cases you never know what you will face when you walk out the door.

Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 13th Oct 2015 at 05:11. Reason: PS
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 05:57
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True Geoffers but how much training for those eventualities do the AA crews do? None?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 08:54
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Crab

We will have to wait and see. I hope their FOI is tuned in to these questions.

G.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 09:08
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Steady on chaps the aircraft isn't even built yet..... it has to be flown and the winch fitted .... the crews trained and then, maybe in a year or so, the 'outline plan' will be considered...... and yet according to this thread we already had an accident and killed the patient!!!!
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 10:10
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Steady on chaps the aircraft isn't even built yet..... it has to be flown and the winch fitted .... the crews trained and then, maybe in a year or so, the 'outline plan' will be considered...... and yet according to this thread we already had an accident and killed the patient!!!!
You sound frustrated that these risks are being identified before anything actually happens. Isn't that a good thing ?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 10:56
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Perhaps if the 'Good Ideas Club' at YAA read these pages, they might prevent themselves going off down a blind alley and costing the charity thousands of pounds for a pointless capability.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 15:05
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A few points in no particular order.
1. Air Ambo generally have ZERO training hours; all flying is on task. They will be able to do winching...... If EASA allow it and the charity pay for suitable training. It's not impossible!
2. Paramedics are not crew, they are pax. If you only winch them down, it's winching! If you only use the winch to reposition, it's winching. The clue is in the name. If you use a winch, it's feckin winching. See 1. for reasons to do it.
3. The met police spent a fortune on winching equipment for 145, they might sell you it cheap...... and unused, not through choice. Hint hint
4. YAA have some excellent pilots and crews, some with SAR experience, they would cope
5. It would be expensive, but it would be a really useful capability, especially when your nearest SAR unit is sooooooo far away
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 15:43
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I don't doubt the pilots would manage but how many SAR experienced paramedics who would act as winchops do they have? That is what will make the difference.

No-one said it was impossible - just expensive, especially for the small number of jobs it will be used on.

If you don't train extensively and continuously you will get bitten when you least expect it.

If the ambulance authority call the SAR aircraft straight away, it will be there quickly - if they faff and fanny around, the only person that suffers is the casualty.

As I said before - it's just empire-building.
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Old 14th Oct 2015, 13:19
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Whilst I tend to agree on the empire building, the retort could be that they are just joining other empire builders.................
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