Precision Approaches Take Shape

 - February 5, 2007, 8:05 AM

Hickok & Associates of Orange Beach, Ala., has developed a network of 19 GPS approaches to hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for aeromedical operator CareFlite of Grand Prairie, Texas. Ray Dauphinais, vice president of operations for CareFlite, told AIN that Steve Hickok, president of Hickok & Associates, has submitted the approaches to the FAA and is hoping for approval before next winter.

CareFlite already has approval to fly its five Agusta A109 Powers under single-pilot IFR operations from airport to airport in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. A dozen of its 28 pilots are single-pilot-IFR qualified. Approval of the GPS approaches will extend this authorization to the hospitals, providing CareFlite with an enhanced margin of safety when flying in poor weather conditions.

Hickok, who received HAI’s 2004 Agusta Community Service Award at Heli-Expo for his work in developing helicopter GPS approaches, is also developing four helicopter GPS instrument approach procedures to serve the heliports in Manhattan. He said, “This is one of the most complex airspace systems and densely populated, obstacle-rich environments in the world. If I can develop a helicopter IFR capability into New York City, it can be done anywhere in the world.”