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Helicopter Air Ambulance Ramblings

Brett327

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Other than having a tender line in place, what is the best practice to arresting this kind of runaway spinning? Based on the apparent speed, I would be very surprised if the victim didn’t have some kind of vascular damage from the force of the blood being forced into her head/eyes.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
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Other than having a tender line in place, what is the best practice to arresting this kind of runaway spinning? Based on the apparent speed, I would be very surprised if the victim didn’t have some kind of vascular damage from the force of the blood being forced into her head/eyes.
I don't know other options to a dedicated line since I never did long line ops. I do know this mission had a tender line and it failed. The rate of spinning looks incredible, but the patient had no ill effects.
 

Brett327

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I don't know other options to a dedicated line since I never did long line ops. I do know this mission had a tender line and it failed. The rate of spinning looks incredible, but the patient had no ill effects.
Says the reporter, who likely doesn't have access to detailed medical info on the victim. That kind of spinning, for a prolonged period of time, is likely to do some damage.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
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Says the reporter, who likely doesn't have access to detailed medical info on the victim. That kind of spinning, for a prolonged period of time, is likely to do some damage.
Nope. Came from news conference with PHX PD/Fire. The Fire Captain said he "looked into her eyes" (after the ride), spoke to her and reported on her condition at the hospital. Of course, he is not an MD, so that probably doesn't satisfy you. But, he ain't no reported without emergency medicine training and experience.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Contributor
Other than having a tender line in place, what is the best practice to arresting this kind of runaway spinning? Based on the apparent speed, I would be very surprised if the victim didn’t have some kind of vascular damage from the force of the blood being forced into her head/eyes.
In the NPS we lashed a tree branch to certain loads to act as a "tail" to reduce spinning. You can also use a counter weight, like a steel pipe slung directly under the load as a kind of counterbalance. That said, neither of those options are useful for getting a human being into a helicopter, they are intended for external loads. Like @wink I am not a SAR guy and all my experience was simply with dead weight.
 

Brett327

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To clarify, I’m curious about what to do once the spinning starts, not in how to prevent it.
 

RobLyman

- hawk Pilot
pilot
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Forward airspeed or a headwind helps. The area under a helo roughly at the end of ground effect (for a 60, 45-65') has the highest area of disturbance. Minimize the amount of time in this zone and/or maintain some forward airspeed in this zone and you can reduce the chances this will happen. Once started, fly away at 30 kts or less while climbing. Having gone through this training with Army DES a week and a half ago, I can say it works pretty well.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
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Nope. Came from news conference with PHX PD/Fire. The Fire Captain said he "looked into her eyes" (after the ride), spoke to her and reported on her condition at the hospital. Of course, he is not an MD, so that probably doesn't satisfy you. But, he ain't no reported without emergency medicine training and experience.
Update. The husband of the 74 year old woman reports that as one might expect, a hematoma has developed on her face (she also broke her nose in the fall) and in her hands and feet even. So, the laws of physics prevail. I believe I heard she experienced 200+ revolutions.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
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wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
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If anyone cares the Assistant Chief for the Phoenix Fire Department quoted in the article, Shelly Jamison, posed for a certain gentlemen's magazine way back in 1989.

//back to our regularly scheduled thread....
How the hell did you find that out? I didn't know that and I am vaguely aware of her career. She has been one of the few female leaders in PFD and well respected. Add another reason to be impressed.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
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Super Moderator
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How the hell did you find that out? I didn't know that and I am vaguely aware of her career. She has been one of the few female leaders in PFD and well respected. Add another reason to be impressed.
The internet.
 

brownshoe

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Gatordev

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pilot
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There's always all kinds of stories that people have in this business, and this one isn't anything special, but thought it was interesting as it tangentially relates to the Bryant crash with IMC flight and possible distractions.

Last night we got a call to go to the next county over to pick up a patient. No other information given even after accepting the flight. The weather was 2200/10 at take off and the destination was at least as good if not better. However, the hospital was below company VFR minimums (and overcast), so I knew we would have to IFR in IMC into the hospital. Our scene was not at an airport/heliport, but since the weather was fine, I would have time to pickup my IFR flight plan once we were back up in the air.

On our way to the scene, we were notified that it was a pediatric patient with a dog bite. The med crews have differing opinions on taking a guardian with a child for trauma flights, especially young kids. This patient was in the 4-6 year range. On this flight the crew were all about bringing the parent, but I explained that I was going to busy with the radios and shooting an approach, so the person needed to be calm and I wasn't going to be able to baby-sit like I normally do when I have a rider. The crews totally understood this and I knew they knew how to make a good call.

But it's an interesting scenario where you're being tasked to move a screaming kid while conducting SPIFR and have the potential for a handful of a person up front.

Once on deck, I filed my flight plan, pre-tuned Center, and set up everything to minimize what was needed after take off. As it turned out (and I found out a few minutes after takeoff), the rider was the kid's aunt and not mom. Don't know where mom was, but dad got arrested for hassling EMS at the scene. Obviously the kid has a bright future.

Once I got Auntie buckled in and plugged into the ICS, I explained that she was going to hear a bunch of things coming from the back (as the kid was screaming as I was saying this), but to not worry, they were taking care of him and he was in good hands. I also explained I was going to be pretty busy talking on the radios, so I might not be able to chat with her. To her credit, she was actually very receptive to everything.

Auntie later mentioned once airborne that she wouldn't be as calm as she was if it was her kid. I also had us isolated on the ICS and had her FM radio toggled off so she couldn't hear the report given over the radio. But here we were, halfway to the hospital and I'm going into hard IMC and I'm thinking what would happen if she did flip out while on an approach, IMC. I guess ATC would become my friend really quick as I declare the emergency and ask for the ILS to the local airport at 120 knots.

It's common to talk about combative patients and even an upset rider, but I've never thought it through with an upset rider while IMC/on the approach. Add to that shooting a special use approach that spits you out not near the landing area, and it could get interesting.

At the end of the day (literally, as I was on over time), kid made it safe, IFR in and out of the hospital worked out well, and we even broke out on the RNAV coming back home, which is always a good thing.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Contributor
....dad got arrested for hassling EMS at the scene. Obviously the kid has a bright future.
He’ll likely become a helicopter pilot.

Just kidding...good story and good work.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
As if it wasn't clear from the airline threads, another piece of advice from the civilian helicopter community... It's a small world.

I got a call from my boss today (while driving to ferry an aircraft back home) asking if I knew someone from my former Navy life. I did know him and it's amazing how often there can be one degree of separation from someone in this job.
 
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