Princely Air Ambulance will be Pakistan’s first privately operated air ambulance company, UK-based Medical Aviation Services (MAS), which has entered a technical support agreement with Princely, announced last month. Medical Aviation Services in December sold a used Eurocopter BO 105 to the new firm. MAS is providing training in the UK on the BO 105 before it is exported.
UK helicopter service company Sterling Aviation took delivery of Honeywell’s Sentinel navigation system for its Eurocopter BK 117 fleet, and the initial response from operational crews is “very encouraging,” according to Sterling Aviation managing director Gerry Hermer. Sterling Aviation operates the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.
United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) has donated more than $4.8 million to date in training costs to help Bell, American Eurocopter, MD Helicopters and Agusta operators who participate in a preferred policy program, the New York-based insurance company announced.
With its acquisition last year of Pittsburgh-based CJ Systems, Air Methods (Booth No. 1043) has become the largest civil air ambulance provider in the country. Integrating CJ into Air Methods has proceeded smoothly, so far, said CEO Aaron Todd, but he admitted there are challenges ahead.
The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) aviation unit this spring reached a milestone of successfully flying 25,000 accident-free medevac flights since the program began in 1969. The current NJSP fleet includes four Sikorsky S-76B aeromedical critical-care configured helicopters, which in 2002 transported 1,400 patients, conducted 70 search-and-rescue flights and performed 60 first-responder educational demonstration sessions.
On January 25 the NTSB Office of Aviation Safety presented a special investigation report on EMS and helicopter EMS (HEMS) operations, attributing a number of EMS accidents to the safety deficiencies allegedly inherent in the less stringent Part 91 rules, which are in place when no patients or organs are on board. The agency invested 3,500 man hours investigating the 55 most recent accidents, 35 of which occurred without patients aboard.
BELL 407, BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NEV., AUG. 21, 2004–At 11:58 p.m., an Access Air Ambulance Bell 407, N2YN, crashed in rugged mountainous terrain about 27 nm southwest of Battle Mountain. The ATP pilot, the two medical crewmembers, an infant patient and the patient’s mother were killed and the helicopter destroyed. The patient was being flown from Battle Mountain Hospital to Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
In the last 10 years, the odds of facing an in-flight medical emergency haven’t changed much, but thanks to the development of aviation telemedicine, the odds of surviving such an event have gone up considerably.
The UK’s Kent Air Ambulance Trust is celebrating what it describes as “an amazing turnaround” in its fortunes. A year ago the charity that supports the resident MD 902 and crew was projecting a deficit of $620,000 (£350,000), on the back of three difficult years that had already seen reserves depleted by almost $1.77 million (£1 million).
CJ Systems Aviation Group is expanding its Baptist Hospital LifeFlight aeromedical program in Pensacola, Fla., with a second base at Mobile, Ala. Baptist Hospital and CJ Systems have taken over responsibility for air-transport services from an operation formerly managed by the University of South Alabama Medical Center.