NEHC Spring 2012 Newsletter

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NEHC Spring 2012 Newsletter

Text of NEHC Spring 2012 Newsletter



    I am very pleased to announce that your Board of Directors has awarded the NEHC Safety Award to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) and Metro Aviation, Inc. Our safety award rec-ognizes individuals and groups for excellence in rotorcraft aviation safety and honors those who have dis-played outstanding service on behalf of safety, whether it be valor, professionalism or service above and beyond normal expectations. The NEHC Safety Award was 1st awarded to Robert Girouard in 1985 when our organization was known as the New England Helicopter Pilots Association. Since then we have been pleased to recognize a number of well deserving recipients including John Anderson (1986) for outstanding service to the helicopter community as a founding member of the NEHPA, George Vincent (1989) for his professionalism and contributions to helicopter safety as President of the NEHPA, and Survival Systems (2010) for their contribution to helicopter aviation safety training.

    DHART and Metro Aviation have been selected for this award as a result of their innovative operat-ing practices and impeccable safety record. The article starting on page 2 describes the collaboration be-tween these two outstanding organizations and how their combined efforts support the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. NEHC is pleased to recognize these two organizations for their achievements.

    Part of the DHART/Metro success story is that they have implemented rigorous operating proce-dures and invest in state of the art technology. You will also find articles in this edition of the newsletter that give further details about flying helicopters in instrument meteorological conditions and describe the benefits, and some of the limitations, of airborne weather radar, techniques and tools used by our safety award recipient.

    Id like to take a moment to thank the NEHC members who participated in the 2012 Aviation, Mari-time and Transportation Education Expo. The event is a partnership between the FAA and Massport's Of-fice. Representatives from industry, government, colleges and training institutes join forces to introduce students and their teachers to the career opportunities in aviation and maritime transportation. This years event was well attended and a great way to plant seeds to attract the next generation of aviation profession-als.

    Please join us at our membership meeting next week. We plan to start the evening with our Annual Meeting, a short busi-ness meeting followed immediately by our featured presentation. Paul Austin, DHARTs Lead Pilot plans to talk about their opera-tion, how theyre building DHARTs IFR infrastructure and their collaboration with the FAA to develop standard instrument ap-proach procedures at hospital heliports. Please join us at the Tewksbury Country Club on April 17. It promises to be a great night, and you wont want to miss it!

    W. Gregory Harville President

    Important Notice

    NEHC Address Change

    We have changed our mailing address. Please mail all correspondence to:

    70 E. Falmouth Highway, Suite 3 East Falmouth, MA 02536


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    NEHC Safety Award Recipients

    The New England Helicopter Council is pleased to announce that its 2012 Safety Award is being presented to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) and their aviation services provider, Metro Aviation, Inc.

    NEHCs Safety Award recognizes individuals and groups for excellence in rotorcraft aviation safety and hon-ors those who have displayed outstanding service on behalf of safety, whether for valor, professionalism or service above and beyond normal expectations.

    DHART and Metro Aviation have earned this award as a result of their innovative operating practices and impeccable safety record. DHART pilots use state of the art tools, such as night vision goggles, airborne weather avoidance radar and GPS to fly standard instrument approach procedures to hospitals in marginal weather condi-tions. Aircraft are dispatched using a real-time, satellite based tracking system. The aeromedical staff and helicopter mechanics are highly experienced professionals who regularly participate in rigorous professional continuing educa-tion. The combination of Metro Aviations professionalism and commitment to aviation safety and DHARTs exper-tise in emergency medical care, have created an industry leading collaboration in aeromedical transportation.

    More about DHART - Since its in-ception in July of 1994, DHART has trans-ported more than 14,500 patients in the air over 1,510,000 miles. DHART medical teams are comprised of critical care nurses & paramedics and respiratory care practition-ers. Medical crewmembers have, on average, 16 years critical care and/or EMS experi-ence. The pilot staff is similarly well quali-fied. Pilots are required to be instrument rated and have a minimum of 2,500 hours flight time as pilot in command. Safe opera-tion in the challenging aero-medical profes-sion requires pilots to maintain night and instrument flight proficiency.

    More about Metro Aviation, Inc. From the companys beginning, Metro has maintained a posture of excellence within their industry. Metros pledge is to provide exemplary service, safety and leadership to each of their clients and to the industry as a whole. Professionalism and commitment to safety is not only Metros pledge but its their philosophy. Metro Aviation was incorpo-rated in 1982 as a helicopter charter, flight training, and maintenance operation. Their entry into the air medical service business came in November 1983 when Metro Aviation entered into a long-term agreement to provide helicopter ambulance service for Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana using two Hughes 500D helicopters. Now, Metro Aviation has air medical transport operations throughout the United States and has earned a reputation for excellence in helicopter medical transporta-tion services that is internationally recognized. Metro has been DHARTs aviation service provider since the pro-grams inception.

    More about Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center DHMC is New Hampshires only American College of Surgeons verified, Level 1 Trauma Center. Their mission is to advance health through research, education, clinical practice and community partnerships. DHART is a successful example of DHMCs vision, goals and values. Alt-hough DHART is most visible when transporting trauma patients from accident scenes, most of their work, about 75% of all flights, involves transporting critically ill or injured patients from one hospital to another.

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    More about the Aircraft: - DHART flies the American Eu-rocopter EC135. The charac-teristics of this aircraft include

    Weight (empty): 4,505 lbs Payload capacity: 1,745 lbs Length: 33.5 ft Height: 11.9 ft Width: 6.6 ft Cabin volume: 173 cf Cruising speed: 150 mph Range: 405 statute miles Enhancements: Full-color weather radar, satellite tracking system, night vision goggles for pilot and crew use, a flight data recorder, HTAWS and an active traffic avoidance system.

    DHART operates two EC135 helicopters and uses a third aircraft as backup one based at DHMC in Leba-non, NH and the one based in Manchester, NH. These aircraft have flown over 16,000 flight hours and represent the latest in aviation technology and enhance DHARTs ability to provide care to critically ill and injured patients any-where in Northern New England. The EC135 provides great lifting capability, which is especially important when operating at high altitude during warm weather. Each aircraft is equipped with color weather radar and a satellite tracking system. These tools allow pilots to see the stormy weather ahead of the aircraft and dispatch to monitor the aircrafts position, in real-time, back at the communications center. DHART was the first program in New England to fly with night vision goggles, optical devices that allow the pilots to see at night in levels of light that approach near darkness. To further enhance safety, DHART is currently developing a fully integrated helicopter instrument flight rules route structure and helicopter instrument approach procedures. This first-in-the-world project will allow DHART helicopters to fly safely between 30 hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont in poor weather conditions.

    Helicopter Operations Under Instrument Flight Rules According to a study published by the U.S. Joint Helicopter Safety Analysis Teams (US-JHSAT), When a pilot encounters inadvertent IMC, it is usually because the pilot chose to continue a VFR flight into poor or reduced visibility. When an acci-dent occurs after continued flight in poor visibility conditions, it is usually the re-sult of hitting an unseen object or obstruction, or simply flying into the ground (CFIT). This report goes on to state that when an accident occurs as a result of IIMC, the outcome is almost always fatal. A sobering statistic! U.S.-JHSAT con-cludes their report with this advice, A key to survival is to avoid such situations always. So, lets talk about flying helicopters under instrument flight rules.

    Federal Aviation Regulations give helicopter pilots tremendous latitude to fly in poor visibility. For operations con-ducted under Part 91 of the regulations, theres no minimum ceiling or flight visibility required to fly in uncontrolled

    airspace. FAR 91.155 allows helicopters to be operated clear of clouds if operated at a speed that allows the pilot adequate oppor-tunity to see any air traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a colli-sion. Helicopter operations conducted under F