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Thread: Medevac helicopter crash tragedy in Ohio.

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    MD 902 cost new.... $7.1M

    Operational costs...

    FINANCIAL


    ....and these figures don’t include the cost of conversion and equipping to medevac standard, and the cost of crew training which in the UK includes a doctor and critical care paramedic.
    I also bet they don't count the cost of insurance, which I suspect is astronomical (semi-pun intended) for a medevac operator.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    I'm glad to hear you say that last part, Evan. It appears that experience and engineering advancements also suggest that single-turbine helicopters are also, as you so eloquently put it, "reasonably safe". So, here we are.
    How do we factor in that the patient needing critical care has some likelihood of not making it...moves the scale towards that one engine, I guess.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    And by the way, no I am not suggesting that medevacs ops cannot sustain those helicopters. Maybe they can.
    Not only can they, the EASA requires them to. HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) operations requires Performance Class 1 or 2 equipment, both of which must be certified CAT A.
    The actual requirement is summarized as follows:
    If the critical engine fails at any point in the approach path: (1) a balked landing can be carried out meeting the requirement of CAT.POL.H.315; or (2) for operations other than those specified in CAT.POL.H.305, the helicopter can perform a safe forced landing.
    Apparently, the FAA does not require similar peformance standards, and that is what I'm addressing.

    Is the EASA regulation wise? Absolutely. Is there an economic barrier to compliance that prevents operators from providing services to significantly-sized populations. Not in Europe. Do individual Europeans get hit with astronomical bills for these services? No. So what's the problem with the US?

    ATLcrew touched on it. Taxpayer subsidies. Gabriel, you also touched on it. America is still the only developed nation where health care and medical transportation are not either free or assuredly affordable to everyone. Part of the high cost of heath care in the US is due to the high number of uninsured people who default on the cost of medical care. This is also passed on to health insurance rates. The solution has been in place for quite a while in other nations. Everyone must pay in to health insurance. The universal health insurance requirement lowers health care costs and makes health insurance more affordable. That includes HEMS flights, and ensures that HEMS can operate within the EASA requirements for OEI redundancy. We passed a law in 2010 requiring universal health insurance, but the subsequent Congress (a collection of populist ninnies) did everything they could to thwart it, and the Supreme Court is once again poised to overturn it. You see, America, with its phobia of modern, socialist reforms, is its own worst enemy. Hopefully that will change.

    But the case I'm making is that:

    - EASA requires twins (along with other redundancies) for HEMS operations. That service is widespead.
    - Helicopter manufacturers have developed successful aircraft in response to this.
    - There is no economic barrier to meeting these requirements given either public providers, publically-subsidized private providers or astronomically expensive private providers.
    - The average price range for HEMS flights in the US is $15000-$25000.
    - Only in areas where no regulatory-compliant HEMS provider is possible, should exceptions be made.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    I also bet they don't count the cost of insurance, which I suspect is astronomical (semi-pun intended) for a medevac operator.
    Operating CAT A helicopters, and thus reducing risk significantly, should actually lower their insurance rates.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    I'm glad to hear you say that last part, Evan. It appears that experience and engineering advancements also suggest that single-turbine helicopters are also, as you so eloquently put it, "reasonably safe". So, here we are.
    Experience and engineering advancements suggest that single-engine ops on airliners is reasonably safe. But ETOPS still requires two, and we don't certify single-engine airliners. Redundancy is the cornerstone of aviation safety. Gabriel is free to risk his own life in a single (and the lives of a few willing passengers) but when the economics begin to allow for redundancy in commercial operations, we have to require it. And we do, on many levels. That's where we are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Operating CAT A helicopters = reducing risk significantly
    Please quantify that. Thank you.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    we don't certify single-engine airliners.
    https://www.airchoiceone.com/about/airplane-gallery/
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  8. #48
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    Airliners as in transport category certification. You have to be so... specific around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Please quantify that. Thank you.
    I'm not sure what you're asking there. Multi-engined aircraft meeting all the requirements of CAT A / Performance category 2 are less likely to incur damage, property damage, injury or fatalities as a result of certain failures. That should equate to lower risk and thus preferential insurance rates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking there. Multi-engined aircraft meeting all the requirements of CAT A / Performance category 2 are less likely to incur damage, property damage, injury or fatalities as a result of certain failures. That should equate to lower risk and thus preferential insurance rates.
    You used the word significantly. To confirm or falsify that, I would like to know what is the accident rate in single turbine helicopters that could have been avoided by having 2 engines minus the accident rate in twin turbine helicopters that should have been avoided by the fact that that the helicopter is a twin but resulted in accident nonetheless for other reasons (like pilot not reacting properly to the engine failure). If the overall accident rate is X% but only 1% of X% would be avoided, I would not expect a significant reduction neither in the risk nor in the insurance rate (which could actually end up going up due to the increased cost of the helicopter that would result still result written off 99% of the times).

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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    You used the word significantly. To confirm or falsify that, I would like to know what is the accident rate in single turbine helicopters that could have been avoided by having 2 engines minus the accident rate in twin turbine helicopters that should have been avoided by the fact that that the helicopter is a twin but resulted in accident nonetheless for other reasons (like pilot not reacting properly to the engine failure). If the overall accident rate is X% but only 1% of X% would be avoided, I would not expect a significant reduction neither in the risk nor in the insurance rate (which could actually end up going up due to the increased cost of the helicopter that would result still result written off 99% of the times).
    Well, let us know what you find out. But my guess is that, with CAT A helicopter accidents being so rare, rates are not based on historical statistics but rather on projections derived from merits, vulnerabilies and capabilities. And possibly a tiny bit of common sense.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Well, let us know what you find out. But my guess is that, with CAT A helicopter accidents being so rare, rates are not based on historical statistics but rather on projections derived from merits, vulnerabilies and capabilities. And possibly a tiny bit of common sense.
    I am sorry, but you were the one who declared, not as an opinion or possibility but as a fact, that Operating CAT A helicopters equals reducing risk significantly. You hold the burden of proof if you want to support your claim. I was just wondering where you pulled that fact from.

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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I am sorry, but you were the one who declared, not as an opinion or possibility but as a fact, that Operating CAT A helicopters equals reducing risk significantly.
    They do! Risk is not an historical thing. Risk is a potential thing. By eliminating the certainty of bad outcomes in critical phases of flight, and introducing the almost certainty of good outcomes, you have significantly reduced risk.

    If nobody had ever fallen off a motorcycle and sustained a critical head injury, and you decided to wear a helmet, because the risk of sustaining a critical head injury clearly does exist, have you significantly reduced risk? Yes!

    But I place the burden of quantifying this on you because it is a non-issue to me. My issue is entirely about mandating safer aircraft for the sake of safety alone. EASA does this. Why doesn't the FAA? What are the barriers to progress?

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    They do! Risk is not an historical thing. Risk is a potential thing. By eliminating the certainty of bad outcomes in critical phases of flight, and introducing the almost certainty of good outcomes, you have significantly reduced risk.

    If nobody had ever fallen off a motorcycle and sustained a critical head injury, and you decided to wear a helmet, because the risk of sustaining a critical head injury clearly does exist, have you significantly reduced risk? Yes!

    But I place the burden of quantifying this on you because it is a non-issue to me. My issue is entirely about mandating safer aircraft for the sake of safety alone. EASA does this. Why doesn't the FAA? What are the barriers to progress?
    Do you mean that if I invent a technology to detect meteors that are in a collision course with your single turbine helicopter and warn you early enough to let you take evasive action, then I am significantly reducing the risk and the price of the insurance would go significantly down?

    If you think that what I am saying is ridiculous, I agree and that's the point.

    A) How often do do single-turbine helicopters crash or, to your point, are expected to crash, for an engine failure in a way that it could be avoided with a type-A helicopter, and B) how often do helicopters crash or are expected to crash for other things?. IF A is significantly smaller than A+B, then you are NOT significantly reducing the risk.

    I am not claiming one way or another. You were the one claiming significant reduction in risk, I asked you to justify it, and I am still waiting. Nothing you've said so far justifies the word "significant". It could be a negligible reduction in risk and all what you've said would still hold true.

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  15. #55
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    By the way, not familiar with the regulations for helicopters in general and even less with EASA such regulations, but...

    If the critical engine fails at any point in the approach path: (1) a balked landing can be carried out meeting the requirement of CAT.POL.H.315; or (2) for operations other than those specified in CAT.POL.H.305, the helicopter can perform a safe forced landing.
    Isn't that allowing single-engine and Cat-B operations as long as you remain within the limits of the dead man's curve?

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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    By the way, not familiar with the regulations for helicopters in general and even less with EASA such regulations, but...



    Isn't that allowing single-engine and Cat-B operations as long as you remain within the limits of the dead man's curve?
    On the first condition, no, if you lose the engine you are going to come down, hopefully intact and on dry land and not in the trees or buildings. On the second condition, yes, but you cannot always operate outside the 'dead mans curve' and when you are operating from a helipad you will usually have to go into it. And when winching or rapelling you are most certainly within it.

    The word 'significant' means 'enough to be considered' here. Crashes involving the 'dead man's curve' are not common but, unlike meteor strikes, they do happen enough for the risk to be considered significant. They happen enough to earn the expression 'dead man's curve'. They happen enough to inspire manufacturers to build twins and certifying aviation authorities to require them. Can you not see that?

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