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RCP0110_0_Hangar Talk 2/15/10 5:01 PM Page 22
FEATURE
of this procedure it is general all accom-
plished within 6 minutes! I have one last
comment about this process with regard
to Omniflight. Although Omniflight is a
FAR 135 operator, their dispatchers are
certified to FAR 121 standards. Omni-
flight believes the additional requirements
under 121 bring their organization to a
higher safety standard. Good for them!
Air Operations & Heliport
There to meet us was the pilot on duty,
Scott Zaske. Scott proceeded to show me
around the office and point out the tech-
nologies in place which included Com ra-
dios, a WSI weather connection, an
AWOS, and a ruggedized computer that
interfaces directly with the Emergency
Communication Center and can be
brought aboard the flight. With the Mayo
installation of the AWOS, non-precision
GPS approach minimums are significantly
reduced at Mayo, to about 437’ AGL. For
areas that do not have weather reporting
your choice is to use the closest weather
Helicopter Emergency Communication Center
reporting station and if the station is 40 or
50 miles away that is problematic. To add
one command center. The first technol- regulation and Omniflight/Mayo SOPs, some modicum of risk analysis, Mayo
ogy is phone communication. This system the aircraft cannot take-off until Omni- also employs what is known as the Avia-
(Power 911) is where all requests for ser- flight and Mayo accomplish preflight tion Digital Data Service (ADDS)
vice originate. Pertinent phone numbers checks and risk assessment to assure the (http://weather.aero/hems/) tool. This tool
and essential communications are enabled safety of the aircraft. At that time the cen- uses weather observations and reporting
through a computer aided speed dial sys- ter releases the aircraft with an Opera- data and using weather simulation and
tem. The second technology is the CAD tional Control Center number. No one modeling techniques it predicts what the
system. Here, all patient information is moves without the release. For a “scene weather most likely will be at the destina-
stored, flight following performed, and in- flight” (direct flight to the scene of an ac- tion. The bottom line is that if the weather
ternal to Mayo paging accomplished. The cident), heading and distance or lat/long is IFR, the requirement is for 800/2 to
third technology is HF/UHF communica- coordinates are mapped and developed at continue VFR to a scene response once
tions that keep transportation assets (am- the ECC and transmitted to the aircraft below the overcast.
bulance, helicopter, airplanes) in constant prior to departure. The most amazing part Outside of Scotts office was a common
contact with the Communications Center.
The process begins with a request that
comes in on the Power 911 system. All
911 information is loaded into the CAD
system while at the same time HF/UHF
communications are established to alert
pilots. Simultaneously the paging system
also alerts everyone just in case flight
crew is located in different locations
within the hospital. Patient information is
reviewed and it is determined if special
equipment is required and that informa-
tion is also sent to the flight crew so that
they configure the aircraft properly. In ad-
dition to this oversight and communica-
tion, further communication is established
with the part 135 provider Omniflight He-
licopters, Inc., dispatch center. Per FAA Saint Marys Heliport and Air Operation Offices
22 ROTORCRAFT PROFESSIONAL • February 2010
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