Survival Flight Ohio Fatal HEMS crash

Remi

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# 5.

I can’t comment as to the validity of this picture. However, on the off chance that it is legitimate, their whole operation needs to be shut down.
Not necessarily.

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....
I don't know anything about the programs in question, but a reasonable assumption about what point #5 means is that the program represented in the picture adheres to FAA minimums, where other programs in the area have higher minimums, as a matter of internal policy.

So hypothetically, Program A could turn down a flight because the weather is below their minimums, while Program B accepts the same flight with the same weather, because they adhere to the FAA minimums, which are lower than Program A's minimums. And that may or may not be the right call, as far as safety is concerned.

The FAA minimums for Part 135 cross-country flight (especially at night) are definitely marginal, but not necessarily unsafe……which is why the FAA
 
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PotatoMedic

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FAA minimums are 800 foot ceiling and 2miles visibility at night and 3 miles visibility at day. Just an FYI.
 

DesertMedic66

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Not necessarily.



I don't know anything about the programs in question, but a reasonable assumption about what point #5 means is that the program represented in the picture adheres to FAA minimums, where other programs in the area have higher minimums, as a matter of internal policy.

So hypothetically, Program A could turn down a flight because the weather is below their minimums, while Program B accepts the same flight with the same weather, because they adhere to the FAA minimums, which are lower than Program A's minimums. And that may or may not be the right call, as far as safety is concerned.

The FAA minimums for Part 135 cross-country flight (especially at night) are definitely marginal, but not necessarily unsafe……which is why the FAA
The issue with that is that the CAMTS standard for weather is to be equal to or exceed FAA 135.609 standards. Since it is a CAMTS and FAA requirement for weather minimums there should be no agencies who are operating outside of that (military and possibly law enforcement excluded). Air Methods was one of the bases who turned it down for weather being below weather minimums and they use the 135.609 standards.

There are possibilities that still could have occurred such as when the first several companies were requested the weather was below minimums but when this specific company was requested the weather was above minimums or marginal. With multiple closer bases turning the flight down several red flags should have hopefully been tossed up but they may not have even known about the other companies turning it down. They may not have asked or even worse the hospital could have lied about other bases refusing the flight which has been known to happen.
 

VFlutter

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Just because an AirMethods base declined it for minimums does not mean that it was below FAA minimums. We fly at 800/2 quite often being that we are an urban base with multiple hospitals and airports within our service area. Other bases will decline at 1000/3 or even 1200-1500/3+

It is all speculation at this point. Even if they were the first call, and other bases hadn't turned it down, it may have been the same result. Even if the forecast was clear and they encounterd unpredictable IIMC conditions it may have happened the same way.
 

DesertMedic66

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Just because an AirMethods base declined it for minimums does not mean that it was below FAA minimums. We fly at 800/2 quite often being that we are an urban base with multiple hospitals and airports within our service area. Other bases will decline at 1000/3 or even 1200-1500/3+

It is all speculation at this point. Even if they were the first call, and other bases hadn't turned it down, it may have been the same result. Even if the forecast was clear and they encounterd unpredictable IIMC conditions it may have happened the same way.
It is all speculation at this point as it could be anything from IIMC, CFIT, engine failure/failure to autorotate, etc but weather was a huge factor in it so of course that is a major part to consider. Add a company that openly advertises their weather minimums are different than other bases (even though those other bases use FAA standards) with 2 other companies who turned down the flight for weather minimums, with reports of snow storms in the area, with extremely low temperatures and conditions that could produce icing are all huge concerns and are all very likely to have caused or at least be a major factor.
 

Remi

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The issue with that is that the CAMTS standard for weather is to be equal to or exceed FAA 135.609 standards.
Right. But if Program A's minimums EXCEED the FAA's minimums, and Program B's minimums ARE the FAA's minimum's, then program B can correctly say "we have different weather minimums", and possibly legally take flights that program A turns down for weather.

Of course I don't know that this is the case here, and this may have had nothing at all to the with the crash. I'm just just pointing out to the earlier posters (that I quoted in my original comment) that it is possible for a HEMS program to truthfully claim to adhere to different weather standards than their competition, and it can be perfectly legal, as well.
 
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GMCmedic

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#5 is poor wording IMO, but that's pretty much what we tell customers. The difference being were IFR.
 

CANMAN

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#5 is poor wording IMO, but that's pretty much what we tell customers. The difference being were IFR.
Agree, #5 will come back to haunt them I believe in future court proceedings. There is also word that this program had a motto of "we fly what other's can't". From speaking with some people I know in the industry in that area it sounds like frozen precipitation was present, so I'm going to guess OAT and conditions for icing should have been concerns despite ceiling/vis.

IFR certainly can give you a leg up, but not in those conditions if that was indeed the type of weather that was moving through. I agree that there are times where program A might turn it down and it's not a safe mission, but program B might be coming from another direction and able to safely accomplish the mission. I have done this more times then I can count in my career. That being said, if you have two programs in the local area decline and you're coming from a considerable distance away weather becomes even more of a consideration to look at. Although 800/2 are mins, depending on the terrain and conditions I don't care to be out in those ceilings/vis routinely because in our area it doesn't give you the FAA mandated cloud clearance, we have a ton of 1000 foot plus tower's, and it also really limits the amount of time you have to make some smart decisions prior to popping in IIMC unless you're buzzing along at 800/2 and only 80-90knots. Lower = slower.

End of the day what I don't understand in almost all of these crashes is we are flying in a HELICOPTER with the ability to land almost anywhere. If weather is taking a **** abort the flight and turn around and go back to where weather was good/home. If it's really hitting the fan then declare and emergency and LAND THE AIRCRAFT! The emergency is over at that point. Sure they're might be some explaining to do and some additional paperwork, but at least you and the crew are alive to deal with the fallout. Too many people are just climbing into A/C as self loading cargo and going along for the ride, whatever the conditions may be without stopping and asking the tough questions.

Although personally I would never fly in a single, I do believe there should be a study performed about for profit vs. non-for profit programs and crashes. I believe there is pressure/more pressure to fly in alot of for profit programs, and I would be curious to see some data against non-for profit programs.
 
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