Responding to a sharp increase in fatal helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations in 2008, the NTSB on September 1 issued 19 safety recommendations to the FAA, two other federal agencies and 40 government-operated public HEMS operators.
BAE Systems and Quest International of the UK have combined to launch a cabin-air system that can destroy airborne viruses and bacteria, including swine flu, Sars, bird flu and E. coli. AirManager has been flight tested on BAE 146/Avro RJ regional airliners operated by five European carriers, and has been selected by one for its fleet.
The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule that provides a start date for mandatory direct-observation drug testing.
The Feb. 13, 2008, incident in which both pilots fell asleep at the controls of a Go! Bombardier regional jet en route to Hilo, Hawaii, was caused by “the captain and first officer inadvertently falling asleep during the cruise phase of flight,” the Board noted. Luckily, the RJ carried extra fuel for a return trip to Honolulu, and the pilots woke up after flying 26 miles past Hilo.
The National Air Transportation Association is reminding FBOs and
MedAire has returned to its roots providing remote medical solutions, on-board medical equipment and crew education in emergency medical procedures, serving a core market in the aviation and maritime industries.
Medical authorities are advising travelers to Asia–and Southeast Asia in particular–to consider being vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis, a mosquito-borne viral infection. The vaccine isn’t suitable for everyone, but should be considered by travelers who plan an extended stay or will spend time in rural areas. Approximately 30,000 to 50,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis are reported annually.
Bell 222, Aurora, Ill., Oct. 15, 2008–The Air Angels medical transport helicopter hit a 734-foot-tall radio station tower, killing all four people on board, including the commercial pilot, a flight paramedic, a flight nurse and the patient. The accident occurred at 11:58 p.m. in clear weather. The strobe lights on the tower were working before the helicopter hit, but their electrical wires were severed in the crash.