The FAA recently published a new advisory circular–AC 135-14B–to address operational procedures and equipment requirements for helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operators following an increase in fatal HAA accidents.
The National EMS Pilots Association (Nemspa) published an online survey for helicopter air ambulance pilots to gather feedback for an upcoming aviation rule-making committee (ARC) considering potential changes to helicopter training requirements. The association will analyze the responses present its findings at the next ARC meeting, scheduled for the end of October.
Spectrum Aeromed completed its first installation for SevenBar Aviation in a King Air 200. The Albuquerque, N.M.-based aircraft is staffed with a medical team from Lifeguard Air Emergency Services. LAES is a department within Emergency Services of University of New Mexico Hospitals and is New Mexico’s only Level 1 Trauma Center. In addition to the dual-patient configuration and patient loading system, Spectrum Aeromed installed IV poles, stretcher bridges, custom medical equipment mounts and an infant transport deck.
AgustaWestland announced at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday that the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance of the UK has selected an AW169 twin-engine light intermediate helicopter to conduct emergency medical services (EMS) missions.
Ontario’s Ornge air ambulance system remains under government scrutiny. In testimony before the Provincial Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee March 6, the then-head of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Chris Lewis, said its anti-rackets branch is expanding its investigation to include interviewing witnesses in the U.S. and Italy and seeking documents from those jurisdictions.
Canadian health and safety investigators charged Ontario’s troubled air ambulance service, Ornge, with 17 violations of the Canadian Labor Code related to the nighttime crash of a Sikorsky S-76A on May 31 last year near its base in rural northern Mosonee that killed its four-man crew. The helicopter went down shortly after takeoff en route to a patient pick-up.
The Avincis group is to purchase Scandinavian Air Ambulance (SAA) for SEK707 million ($108 million). SAA employs 160 and operates a fleet of 22 aircraft (including 14 helicopters) across Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Under the agreement, SAA founder and CEO Henry Hansen will continue to lead SAA and all Avincis’ emergency services in Scandinavia. Regulatory approvals are expected by the end of next month.
Ontario’s provincially operated air ambulance service continues to restructure, eliminating 25 management jobs–including vice president, aviation–adding eight new jobs and reclassifying 15 to save $1 million. Ornge still employs 650.
On February 20, the FAA issued a far-reaching final rule that will require helicopter operators, including air ambulance services, to abide by stricter flight rules and procedures that better prepare both pilots and helicopters for safer operations. Within 60 days, all operators will be required to use enhanced procedures for flying in challenging weather, at night, and when landing in remote locations.
Haiti Air Ambulance is partnering with Air Methods to bring helicopter EMS service to the poverty-stricken nation on a full-time basis for the first time. Beginning next month, two Air Methods Bell 407s–a primary and a dedicated back-up–will be based at a secure industrial park near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and will be gearing up to fly two missions a day or about 700 hours per year.
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