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Matheson also works as a search and res- cue crewman and paramedic on a 24/7 NVG search and rescue medevac program. Goodrich Corporation introduced the translating drum technology.


rescue hoist translating drum moves fore and aft on a near frictionless ball-spline, resulting in cable entering and exiting from a single point. The benefits include a more consistent layering of the cable re- ducing the possibility of miswrap, re- duced cable wear, reduced load on vital hoist parts, and reduced loads at high fleet angles. For crews, this means more con- sistent, reliable operation in extreme and unpredictable rescue situations. Level- wind hoists use a guide block in the front of the hoist that moves both directions on a level-wind screw. On translating drum hoists, tension between the guide out point and drum is maintained by the guide block.

The high fleet angle afforded with translating drum technology overcame the limitations of traditional level-wind hoists.

With level-wind hoists, off-angle lifts sig- nificantly increase side load on the level- wind mechanism causing stress that creates the potential for cable miswrap. In contrast, the translating drum technol- ogy absorbs the side loads through a pri- mary structure rather than a level-wind mechanism. Total torque on the translat- ing mechanism never exceeds eight pounds regardless of the fleet angle.

Goodrich Corporation is the leading provider of translating drum and level-wind hoists to search and rescue operations.

Chris Bond, who began his search and rescue career in 1971, joined Bristow Group, Inc. in 1976. Bristow Group is a global provider of helicopter services, transportation, maintenance, search and rescue, and aviation support, believes the translating drum hoist has made a dra- matic difference in search and rescue. “It does make a difference what type of

hoist you use, in as much as translating drum hoists are significantly faster than level-wind hoists, especially AC driven translating drum hoists,” says Bond. “They react from one speed to another quicker and if the operator is given good training he will be able to convert that quicker operation to lifting people in an appropriate manner so that they avoid dis- comfort while being rescued.”

Dual Hoists “Like Extra Aircraft”

Matheson also cites the use of dual hoists as a growing requirement in search and rescue, especially for organizations operating in extreme environments. Pri- ority 1 Air Rescue currently has 74 search and rescue operations air crew personnel and has conducted classes for more than 1,000 people worldwide for government programs, commercial search and rescue operators, law enforcement, and U.S. and foreign military units. In all training classes Matheson stresses the importance of dual hoists as a safety factor. “For organizations operating in places like the Bering Sea or the Atlantic, dual hoists provide a force multiplier that sig- nificantly increases risk management and the chance of executing a successful mis- sion,” says Matheson. “It gives the abil- ity to be twice as safe. If you have a problem you don’t have to keep using a damaged cable with your fingers crossed.” He equates a dual hoist system to having a second helicopter on the scene that can immediately take over the SAR mission should a cable on the pri- mary hoist be damaged or have to be sheered to protect the aircraft and crew. Rather than abort a mission, just switch to the secondary hoist system. “There are documented cases where agencies have had catastrophic results by having just one hoist or one helicopter in the field,” says Matheson. “If you are in the middle of the North Sea or the Atlantic conducting a search and rescue mission off a fishing vessel, and a hoist cable gets entangled on a piece of the ship’s rigging, you have to cut the cable. In that case you’re stuck looking down at the people to be rescued, or your partner, and you have no way of getting them off.” Bond, the 38-year search and rescue veteran, agrees that dual hoists on rescue aircraft have much to offer. Bristow Group, headquartered in Houston, Texas,

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