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medical evacuation services) operations to reduce his rest period to 8 hours, allowing for up to a 16 hour duty period. While this is true, it comes at a price that relatively few air medical transport pro- grams are willing to pay. Two of the "zingers" in this


regulation are 135.271(g) and 135.271(h) (1). FAR 135.271(g) states that, "No certificate


holder may assign any other duties to a flight crewmember during a HEMES assignment." FAA Order 8900.1 further clarifies this restriction with


restrictions on air medical pilots vs. airline pilots is apparent when the effects of the two rules are depicted graphically. The following graphs represent the duty periods allowed by the rules in accor- dance with the recently proposed legal interpreta- tion. For the sake of illustration, each graph assumes regularly scheduled duty periods of 12 hours beginning at 0700 and 1900 hours local time (the night shift is used for these sample graphs). The first graph is based on FAR 121.471 (b)(1)


and (c)(1), which allows for a maximum of less than 8 flight hours and a maximum 16 hour duty peri- od, followed by a minimum rest period of 10 hours. The second graph illustrates how the 10-hour


"look back" rest requirement for air ambulance pilots can create a situation where a pilot working a scheduled 12 hour shift can encounter a situation where the proposed interpretation of the regulation might literally result in a death sentence for the patient when the pilot is forced to leave the patient at the accident scene or at the referring hospital. Neither rule makes any provision for exceeding the maximum length of the duty period, based on the "look back" criteria in each case. FAR Part 135 allows for a maximum 14 hour


duty period. Pilot must be able to "look back" at any time and see at least 10 hours of rest within the past 24 hours.


"SPECIAL" RULE FOR HEMES OPERATIONS?


are probably thinking, "But, what about FAR 135.271?"


Some of the knowledgeable readers out there That regulation allows an air ambulance


pilot involved in HEMES (helicopter emergency 41 ROTORCRAFTPRO.COM


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