Survival Flight Ohio Fatal HEMS crash

CANMAN

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News article claims MedFlight, a competing program, turned the flight down due to weather.
So sad that with the amount of crashes that continue in the industry there are programs and flight crew who will continue to take flights that put their lives at risk and no one speaks up. I hear that not only was the flight turned down by two programs, one right in the town the hospital was at, but also this program has been known for launching on flights other programs turned down.

Also crews currently searching for a Guardian Flight King Air 200 out of Alaska that has been missing since this morning. No updates on that yet....
 

PotatoMedic

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I just looked, and can confirm that there were a multitude of weather turndowns in Ohio yesterday.
 

DesertMedic66

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So sad that with the amount of crashes that continue in the industry there are programs and flight crew who will continue to take flights that put their lives at risk and no one speaks up. I hear that not only was the flight turned down by two programs, one right in the town the hospital was at, but also this program has been known for launching on flights other programs turned down.

Also crews currently searching for a Guardian Flight King Air 200 out of Alaska that has been missing since this morning. No updates on that yet....
New updates are saying they are finding debris in the last known area of the plane. Sounds like they found part of a wing.
 

MonkeyArrow

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So sad that with the amount of crashes that continue in the industry there are programs and flight crew who will continue to take flights that put their lives at risk and no one speaks up. I hear that not only was the flight turned down by two programs, one right in the town the hospital was at, but also this program has been known for launching on flights other programs turned down.

Also crews currently searching for a Guardian Flight King Air 200 out of Alaska that has been missing since this morning. No updates on that yet....
I'm certainly not an expert on how calls for service get routed in the HEMS world, but why does more than one program even get an opportunity to take the call for an emergent flight? Certainly if you [as a hospital/scene provider/whatever] get turned down once due to weather, you wouldn't continue trying to shop around until someone bites and flies in what you know now is poor weather...
 

DesertMedic66

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I'm certainly not an expert on how calls for service get routed in the HEMS world, but why does more than one program even get an opportunity to take the call for an emergent flight? Certainly if you [as a hospital/scene provider/whatever] get turned down once due to weather, you wouldn't continue trying to shop around until someone bites and flies in what you know now is poor weather...
But that is exactly what happens at least here in CA. If company A turns down the fight then company B will be called then company C and so on. Generally speaking the hospitals main goal is to get the patient out.

Even within companies they will get the call and then see if base A will take it. If not then they will call base B and so on. We had one the other day that 4 bases within our own company refused due to weather so we also refused it.
 

VentMonkey

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But that is exactly what happens at least here in CA.
Clearly, it isn’t just a California thing.

Without knowing too much about the Ohio incident, it does happen quite frequently. The combing through different bases is something a hospital could care less about, when as @DesertMedic66 pointed out, they’re just trying to get a patient out.

My base has no issues saying no, even if it means I will ultimately end up on the ground transfer for it. So is life.

But as an example of things, I’ve turned calls to the base @DesertMedic66 is now at simply because we may not be able to get to said hospital from The Valley Floor but they might be able to from The Desert Floor, and vice versa.

I’ve also been taught to advise their base when I’m able to on the turn down and why it was turned by our base. And if they call (which they have) and inquire why, I have no problems disclosing what we see on our end vs. what they may/ may not on theirs.

At the end of the day, competitor or not, no one wants that on their shoulders.

TLDR~ logistics do sometimes play a factor; no clue if they did or didn’t in this particular case.
 

DesertMedic66

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Clearly, it isn’t just a California thing.

Without knowing too much about the Ohio incident, it does happen quite frequently. The combing through different bases is something a hospital could care less about, when as @DesertMedic66 pointed out, they’re just trying to get a patient out.

My base has no issues saying no, even if it means I will ultimately end up on the ground transfer for it. So is life.

But as an example of things, I’ve turned calls to the base @DesertMedic66 is now at simply because we may not be able to get to said hospital from The Valley Floor but they might be able to from The Desert Floor, and vice versa.

I’ve also been taught to advise their base when I’m able to on the turn down and why it was turned by our base. And if they call (which they have) and inquire why, I have no problems disclosing what we see on our end vs. what they may/ may not on theirs.

At the end of the day, competitor or not, no one wants that on their shoulders.

TLDR~ logistics do sometimes play a factor; no clue if they did or didn’t in this particular case.
Our company is also very good on advising us “hey guys, we have a flight request from X to X. The flight was already turned down by company X and by our own base (Y and Z). Just wanted you guys to take a look and see if you are able to do it.” We will call around and see why it was turned down if everything looks ok on our side.

We have also started to do ground transports when we aren’t able to fly.
 

VentMonkey

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Our company is also very good on advising us “hey guys, we have a flight request from X to X. The flight was already turned down by company X and by our own base (Y and Z). Just wanted you guys to take a look and see if you are able to do it.” We will call around and see why it was turned down if everything looks ok on our side.

We have also started to do ground transports when we aren’t able to fly.
Every now and again OCC calls us with similar info. I find them to be quite helpful.
 

PotatoMedic

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So as a HEMS dispatched I have I have a bit of a perspective on how this goes down. First off hospitals don't care about weather/pilot duty time/ crew fatigue, they just want the person gone and they get mad when we tell them no for any of those reasons. As mentioned before those sometimes turn into ground trips for our crews.

Second ANY time we decline a trip that is FW or RW we put it into a system called weather turndown. That way people can log in and see if there were flights turned down and for what reason and it gives a contact number if pilots want to chat.

Third if the RW can't make it we might see if the FW can do it (FW for our service is IFR where our RW is only VFR). Rarely we will ask our other bird to see if they can do it (Usually because the base not the destination is the issue weather wise).

Fourth places shop and if weather is bad I will ask if anyone has already declined it (sometimes they are truthful and sometimes they lie, that is why I will call around and ask the other flight services if they have turned it down already).


So yeah... that is my perspective. My service even allows us in the comms center to decline a flight if we don't think it is safe. Sadly some places will try anything to get a flight.

I will say it is fun to listen when our medical director argues with the hospital doctor about why we are not flying even though you have a sick patient.
 

VFlutter

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To play devil's advocate, we frequently take flights that other bases turn down for weather. We rarely have ever aborted a flight due to weather, rarely have to go by ground, never go IIMC, etc. Just like most things in life everyone has a different perspective, interpretation, and comfort level. Just because a base takes a flight that another base or company turned down does not necessarily mean they did something wrong, wreckless or inherently risky. Weather can be location dependent. There are also pilots that will automatically turn down a flight request without even checking weather if it was turned down by someone else when in all reality it was flyable.

We unfortunately have a competitor that is notorious for reporting turning down for "weather" for all reasons such as out of service, maintenance, weight.

Obviously no one should push weather and when multiple other bases or companies have declined a flight then you should be vigilant and consider unforecasted weather. Everyone wants to make it home. But you can take safety to both ends of the spectrum, the safest flight is never getting off the ground.
 

GMCmedic

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The first question our dispatch asks is if any other services have turned it down. Most of the time we turn it down also, as the only IFR service in the area, sometimes we take them (right now that it rare cause of the temperature).

The major reason for shopping for aircraft, as pointed out, the hospital doesn't care. Another reason is an aircraft to the west may have weather below minimums, but an aircraft to the east may have blue skies.
 

GMCmedic

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The first question our dispatch asks is if any other services have turned it down. Most of the time we turn it down also, as the only IFR service in the area, sometimes we take them (right now that it rare cause of the temperature).

The major reason for shopping for aircraft, as pointed out, the hospital doesn't care. Another reason is an aircraft to the west may have weather below minimums, but an aircraft to the east may have blue skies.
To late to edit: If another aircraft turns down a flight, we have to clear it it with OCC before we accept it.
 

DrParasite

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We used to dispatch HEMS; if the nearest helicopter turned it down for weather, we would go to the second nearest, advising that the first turned it down for weather. if they turned it down, I think it went to the 3rd, but I am not sure. But after that, the job is turned down due to weather, and no one else was asked (a benefit of a single HEMS dispatch point state wide).

The reason why is quite simple: there might be a huge storm between helicopter A and the scene, preventing them from taking the job. But helicopter B, which is 100 miles on the other side of the state, might have a clear path in and out, so why shouldn't they take the job? If there is poor weather over the destination, it was usually a denial all around.

It was typically the pilots who make the call on whether they take the job, based solely on the weather to the pickup location, but I believe any crew member was able to deny the flight.

As for the company pictured, I'm curious why their crew find it acceptable to fly is weather that is less safe than industry standard minimums....
 
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