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MOST OF US IN THE HELICOPTER AMBULANCE AVOCATION ARE VERY CONSERVATIVE AND THE NEW FAA REGULATIONS AND OPS SPECS WILL PROBABLY HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON OUR OWN SOUND DECISION MAKING AND PERSONAL MINIMUMS.


Most of us in the helicopter ambulance avocation are very


conservative and the new FAA Regulations and Ops Specs will probably have little effect on our own sound decision making and personal minimums. Most of us are mature and experienced enough to reject pressure from the business managers and peers and make our go-no-go decisions based on our own lessons learned over the years. Unfortunately, if you look over the tragic accidents our industry has experienced over the years, we can see that there have been just a few of us who continued to push into deterio- rating weather conditions (more often at night) and flew a perfect- ly good aircraft into the side of a hill no matter what the “rules” were. The new rules will probably have no effect on the conser- vative among us but for the “few” overly bold or pressured risk tak- ers in our profession it might be a wake-up call. abcd


Ed MacDonald is the former lead pilot for PHI Air Medical. In his twenty-one year Part 135 career he served as a EMS and offshore line pilot, lead pilot, base manager, Chief Pilot, and Air Medical Safety Manager. He is currently Chairman of the Air Medical Safety Advisory Council (AMSAC), Co-Chair of the AAMS Safety Committee and Past President and current Safety Representative for the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA). Ed has 8800 rotor wing flight hours with over six thousand hours as an U.S. Army Aero medical Evacuation Officer and Part 135 EMS helicopter pilot over a forty-year flying career.


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