In response to the rash of helicopter accidents experienced over the past few years by the medical transport industry, the National Emergency Medical Services Pilots Association (Nemspa) has rolled out a new safety/risk assessment plan known as the “No Pressure Initiative.”
Safety of emergency medical services flights
The Air Charter Safety Foundation’s (ACSF) recently completed review of Part 135 incidents and accidents examines the safety record of the industry from 2004 to 2008. To compile the data, the foundation combed through the NTSB accident database and separated revenue flights from Part 91 events, including maintenance, ferry, positioning and instruction.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) late last week released its first accident and incident review of the Part 135 on-demand air charter industry. According to ACSF, the new safety report takes a comprehensive look at the factors surrounding charter incidents and accidents between 2004 and last year.
The NTSB issued another set of recommendations regarding helicopter emergency medical service (EMS) operations, this time highlighting concerns with FAA oversight of public aircraft operators. These recommendations stem from a fatal accident on September 27 last year involving a Maryland State Police Eurocopter AS 365N1 operated as a public medical evacuation (see page 56).
The NTSB has issued another set of recommendations regarding helicopter emergency medical service (EMS) operations, this time highlighting concerns with FAA oversight of public aircraft operators. The recommendations stem from an accident on September 27 last year involving a Maryland State Police Eurocopter AS 365N1 operated as a public medical evacuation.
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.
On Tuesday, the NTSB issued 19 recommendations for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), addressing pilot training; safety management systems; collection and analysis of flight, weather and safety data; flight data monitoring; development of a low-altitude airspace infrastructure; and the use of dual pilots, autopilots and night vision goggles.
While the FAA develops new rules to improve the safety of helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS), the ranking Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee and its aviation subcommittee called for congressional action.
Although the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation safety, a sharp rise in fatalities among on-demand air charter operations last year has raised a flag with the NTSB.
Bell 407, Huntsville, Texas, June 8, 2008–The Board determined the probable cause of the EMS 407 accident was the pilot’s failure to identify and arrest the helicopter’s descent. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadvertent flight into IMC and the limited outside visual reference due to the dark night conditions, low clouds and fog.