Howard Ragsdale, senior vice president of business development for Denver-based Air Methods and this year’s winner of the Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award, has spent most of his aviation career in air medical operations. Along with Archie Gray, senior vice president of aviation services, he is one of two long-time employees of Air Methods to receive an HAI Salute to Excellence Award this year. The “Golden Hour,” of course, refers to the period of time after a person has been severely injured during which, if given medical care, he or she has the greatest chance of survival.
Safe Flight (Booth No. 2516) introduced its upgraded digital powerline detection system (DPDS) and provided an update about ongoing development of its icing conditions detector (ICD) at Heli-Expo 2014.
The DPDS adds a digital signal processor to Safe Flight’s previous analog system, allowing the detection of both 60Hz and 50Hz frequencies produced by power lines around the world. Safe Flight director of government and military sales Greg Hilewitz noted testing on an AS355 showed the DPDS detected a 22,000-volt line at more than one statute mile distant.
Spectro Jet-Care–which provides laboratory analysis of aircraft oil, fuel, hydraulic fluid and debris–has added advanced optical imaging equipment to its arsenal of tools at its facilities in New Jersey, the UK and Switzerland. The new equipment allows extremely detailed analysis of chips found on magnetic chip detectors, in filters or within fluid samples, the company said. It also provides a depth of field and resolution that is better than that of conventional optical microscopes, as well as allows the ability to view the magnified images in 3-D.
NBAA welcomed passage by the House of Representatives of H.R.3578, which compels the FAA to establish a rulemaking process before implementing any mandatory pilot-screening requirement for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a condition for getting a medical certificate. In November, the FAA announced a plan to begin requiring OSA screening for pilots with a body mass index of 40 or greater. “The business aviation community thanks lawmakers for passing this measure seeking a fully transparent process for any consideration of OSA screening,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says he wants the FAA to apply noise rules to all helicopters transiting the Los Angeles basin, including those flown by emergency services. “Not all law-enforcement flights are emergencies,” Schiff said during an interview with SoCal public radio station KCRW.
A Robinson R66 is being used in Colombia as a pediatric air ambulance. It is flying alongside a Westwind 1124A and Learjet 31 with Fundacion Cardiovascular de Colombia (FCV).
Doctors at FCV are using the R66 to reach pediatric patients in remote areas. The back seat of the R66 has been replaced with a bench, an incubator and other medical equipment in accordance with FAA “Form 337” rules. A typical flight of one hour replaces a ground ride of four to nine hours, which for some infants was just too long.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have introduced legislation–S.1941–to require the FAA to follow the established rulemaking process as the agency tries to implement its obstructive sleep apnea screening rule. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), an original cosponsor of the bill, is a member of the Senate general aviation caucus, along with Manchin and Inhofe.
Dick Koenig, former publisher of Flying, has been tapped to head the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the organization that arranges free flights for cancer patients to treatment centers using empty seats on corporate jets. CAN executive director Peter Fleiss is retiring, effective January 20, after leading the organization for 14 years. Fleiss will thus become director emeritus and remain actively involved during the leadership transition.
The free weight-and-balance program developed by FltPlan is available for more than 400 makes and model of aircraft and can be used either on the FltPlan website or on its iPad and Android apps. The company added 165 new makes and models to the program since March. Flight departments can share weight-and-balance profiles so all users are working with the same parameters. The iPad and Android app versions can be used offline, too. Users can also email the final results to maintain a record of the weight-and-balance calculations.
Ever since two pilots fell asleep in the cockpit of a Bombardier CRJ operating as Go! Flight 1002 during a February 2008 flight from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawaii, the NTSB has urged the FAA to tackle the issue of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among pilots. The captain of that aircraft was diagnosed with severe OSA after the flight.