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Heli Missing South of New Zealand

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Heli Missing South of New Zealand

Old 26th Apr 2019, 18:45
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Standard procedure in some parts of the world (a luxury in others I know) is for the crew to have the option of having a doctor speak with the boat and to then advise the pilot in command on whether the casualty is in need of urgent assistance. In my experience waiting a few hours in generally acceptable.
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 06:26
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rottenjohn View Post
Company said the crew member was needed to be evacuated as early that next morning as possible. The vessel could have been very close if not actually in Bluff before then anyway. Risk vs cost?
Approx 250nm, so over 24 hours for a plodding fishing boat.
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 10:05
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Standard procedure in some parts of the world (a luxury in others I know) is for the crew to have the option of having a doctor speak with the boat and to then advise the pilot in command on whether the casualty is in need of urgent assistance. In my experience waiting a few hours in generally acceptable.
Whilst needing medical confirmation of need is surely mandatory, IMHO the doctor 'advising' the pilot is a recipe for unacceptable risk. Doctors are not qualified to assess the risk of a mission. They are only qualified to decide or estimate on the medical condition of the patient. So a doctor can decide whether the cost is justified, whether the organisation's protocols are met medically, and whether the medical risk of a transfer is justified - every transfer has a defined risk of death and morbidity even in CAVOK conditions twin pilot IFR equipped.

Only the pilot can decide whether the mission is within acceptable limits. Those limits may be different for a military mission than a civilian one, but that is an aviation decision not a medical one

The only safe operational tasking is to have a Chinese wall between the medical and aviation decision whereby each decides on go/no go independently. You then launch only if you have two goes. If you allow doctor and pilot to discuss you inevitably put pressure on both. We did this in Dallas in the 1980s, launching into what I now know to be unacceptable conditions because the patient was a child, because the patient would likely die without us. Often the pilot said no, then asked about the casualty and said yes......Back in the UK we operated a Chinese wall. We lost missions and I dare say patients suffered, but we didnt put a crew of three let alone people on the ground at risk for one patient.

To those who have heard me rant on about this ad nauseam, my apologies, but the lesson still hasnt been learned
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 11:04
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I fully agree with the notion of reducing pressure on those who must make the decision to go fly.

In theory you can isolate the pilot from knowing "why" the flight is being requested but at some point reality will enter into the picture.

One example....Neo-Nate flights that require an Isolette Unit.....only tiny infants go inside those.

Destinations that include a "Children's Hospital" also give the pilot a clue.

The key is to remind both Pilot and Crew....that people die every day....and did so before Helicopters got involved in EMS.

EMS Pilots and Crews are not in the Life Saving business....they are there to provide safe, efficient, Air Medical Transportation.

If a life is saved or prolonged by their work....that is a bonus.

The weather has to meet minimums or the flight is a "No Go" no matter why it is being requested.

Get that into the decision process and Crews will live longer.

EMS is not SAR......and EMS Crews are not winged heroes who due holy combat with the Grim Reaper.....they are highly trained and capable but are just out there to transport injured and ill persons.
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 17:08
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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the old mantra from firefighters "risk a alot to save alot, risk a little to save a little" comes to mind when I hear of medevac accidents.
Lives are important, but at what cost?
not everyone can be saved, and you don't line up your highly trained resources, such as pilots, paramedics, or firefighters etc like lemmings and let them keep them heading into impending death one after the other. But we see this scenario play over and over with medevacs.
Heaven forbid we put crews lives on the line to attempt to save someone who isn't knocking on deaths door themselves.
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Old 1st May 2019, 22:36
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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  • From a NZ industry newsletter.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:02
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Of course doctors are not qualified to assess the risks involved in a flight. That is the PICís job and why they are paid accordingly. If I had any doubts about the justification for the flight (regardless of environmental conditions) I would attempt to seek medical advice as PART of the decision making process. Fortunately where I work that is always available.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 11:34
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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My way of thinking is, the flight is planned and conducted in accordance with the applicable flight rules, irrespective of any medical opinion.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 17:53
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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My way of thinking is, the flight is planned and conducted in accordance with the applicable flight rules, irrespective of any medical opinion.
Well of course but why not then obtain a medical opinion if it is available. I am talking about SAR here and not simply flying from one hospital to the next. If I am being asked to winch an injured crewman off the back of a fishing vessel 100nm offshore at night in a force 7 and the doctor tells me that it can wait until morning then I will happily wait.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 00:39
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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My way of thinking is, the flight is planned and conducted in accordance with the applicable flight rules, irrespective of any medical opinion
Critique this chaps/chapesses. I tips me lid to these professional SAR crews. Crab, interested in your take since it could well have been you. Again, I tips me lid.

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Old 3rd May 2019, 01:54
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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What I found odd is the pilot asks "Is everyone up for this?" ... and there seems to be a verbal consensus from all of the crew to proceed, however the winch operator is thinking to herself "I don't really want to do this" (her words in the voice-over) without actually telling anybody.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 10:11
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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This has done the rounds before.
Is it typical for the crew to have such a focus on the condition and status of a patient?
Life saving seems to be in the forefront of the decision making.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 10:30
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Is it typical for the crew to have such a focus on the condition and status of a patient?
Life saving seems to be in the forefront of the decision making.
Yes to the first statement, you wouldn't take additional risks unless it was critical lifesaving.

Is hovertaxying in cloud inherently safe? No, of course not but the only additional risk of doing this compared to clear conditions is the limited visibility, there is no increased risk of aircraft malfunction just because it its foggy.

Being a SAR captain means you have to make decisions to balance risk against reward and every SAR pilot I know would accept extra risk if the casualty will die otherwise - it's not nice (hence the winchies concerns in the voice over) but it is a fact of life with SAR.

If you don't take any risks (with mitigation wherever possible) you won't rescue anyone because so many people get into trouble in difficult terrain and weather.

If you thought that rescue was tricky - try the same conditions at night..........
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Old 4th May 2019, 01:39
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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If going vfr, single pilot to a speck in the southern ocean notorious for weather changes at night and with your PNR more than likely we’ll behind you then maybe.
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Old 4th May 2019, 07:18
  #55 (permalink)  

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Being a SAR captain means you have to make decisions to balance risk against reward and every SAR pilot I know would accept extra risk if the casualty will die otherwise - it's not nice (hence the winchies concerns in the voice over) but it is a fact of life with SAR.
In a previous job, I did find it rather annoying to scramble then fly 100 nms offshore in the dark only find the supposedly "seriously ill" casualty was as stiff as a board and obviously was so at the time the distress call was received. But at least the fishermen could carry on as soon as their inconveniently deceased colleague was removed from the ship......saved them having to return to port....

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Old 4th May 2019, 08:36
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Yes Shy, I think most of us have similar stories but for every one that didn't need rescuing there were an awful lot that did
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:33
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Question Aircraft type

I think it was a BK117
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Old 28th May 2019, 10:24
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Bit more of a head wind getting there maybe. Having no choice but to attempt approach and landing in sea fog would potentially ruin your day
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