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Entries for April 2010

By Jenna Shepard - There are two main threats to EMS helicopter pilots – weather and darkness, but this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. In 1988, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated 59 helicopter emergency medical services accidents and concluded that low visibility, often caused by poor weather conditions accounted for 61% of all crashes. Since then, little has changed.Although the commercial aviation industry requires that an aircraft be outfitted with everything from weather tracking technologies like onboard radar and GPS to collision avoidance tools, these same requirements are not made of the medical helicopter industry. Furthermore, at a time when air medical companies are being scrutinized due to the sheer number of EMS helicopter crashes and a lack of critical onboard technologies not yet mandated by the FAA, one company is making big strides in the right direction by focusing on weather safety.

By Kerry Sullivan - The article by Susan Parson in the March issue titled “Personal Minimums: A Development Guide” provides a systematic way for pilots to determine realistic safety margins for weather. The EMS operator I fly for requires its pilots to develop their own personal weather minimums which are to be more restrictive than those contained in the Operations Specifications. I have found more restrictive minimums necessary because I do not believe the generally used weather minimums are adequate to keep me out of Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC). Despite strict weather minimums, detailed weather products and annual training in weather and pilot decision making we still have all too-frequent incidents of IIMC. As we are all painfully aware, some of these IIMC occurrences result in fatal accidents.

Written & Video Feature: Advanced Helicopter Training with FlightSafety International 

By Lyn Burks - Having been in the helicopter industry for a little while, I have been fortunate enough to experience many levels of training. While recently attending an S76C++ transition course at FlightSafety International (FlightSafety), I am reminded of the stark differences between the "haves" and the "have nots."

My reference to "haves" and "have nots" is not meant to be deprecating to those who offer or attend helicopter training at traditional facilities. It’s really more of an analogy which notes the difference in the level of training provided by FlightSafety as compared to other training providers I have experienced. The present model of our training industry is what it is, and this article will not change it.

[VIEW VIDEO AND ARTICLE NOW]

 

I used to laugh at the chopper jockeys
And those things they travel in
I joked about how slow they are
And the way they pound the wind.
 
Some o' the guys got hoppin' mad
Guess it hit a sour note
Especially one called "Shorty"
Man, I always got his goat.

By Lyn Burks - In previous career development articles we left off with the importance of the resume, along with several tips for “spooling up” your resume to a higher level of professionalism. Assuming you did everything right and your resume has convinced the hiring authority that you may be the person for the job; you may now be facing a new hurdle. The phone interview.

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