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medical chopper down. 3 dead


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  • 2 weeks later...

Live very near, its very sad but this company had a real easy to avoid fatal a few years back, when flying at night w/o N.V.G's let all try and keep 1000AGL not 50 and then surface. read up it blew me away anyone still called them out after the first, in that country u NEED NVG TRAINING!!!! there is nothing out there after leaving Reno. how do u E.M.S guys cut it w/o "tubes" its amazing and crazy to me. id be climbing out of Reno to around 3000agl and use a freeway/highway to guide my way of obstacles. Mtn flying in the dark is not something i would go and jump into right now or anytime soon, something with FAA needs to get handed down to these E.M.S operators!!!!! NOW

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There are techniques one can use to safely fly in the mountains with out NVGs. As a rule of course there must be some sort of visual reference to the surface. I practice these proceedures every so often to keep on it. That is just in case both sets of NVGs fail or I forget them or just to keep my skill level up.


Flight planning is key and the first step. Don't just plan on one route but others in case something comes up. Highest point along the route should be selected and add at least 500' to it.


I will climb to that altitude over my departure point in a climbing orbit then go enroute.


Do not decend until over your destination or near it enough you can see it. You can use selected ground lights on the edge of the city or town you are going to. Should one of those lights vanish then that means there is something blocking it. Such as a hill or mountain. You are then to low so climb until you can see it again. Keep all the lights in sight as you come down and you won't hit anything. That along with your radar alt. to back you up.


Should you not have the lighting to do that or are not comfortable with the area then stay at your preselected enroute altitude and decend while over your destination just as you did on departure. If there is airspace in the way, so what? Talk to ATC and they'll let you in.


There are other things one can do but these work well. NVGs are great but not the end all be all. Remember, weather needs to be high enough for you to keep your enroute altitude not just good at your departure point and destination. The second you find yourself decending due to the CIG then it's time to turn around or land. Many areas do not have weather reporting and weather can change fast. Being conservative is best. In short, always have a way out.


Some of these things may increase your flight time so one should plan for it. I understand we are "emergency medical" but that can not influence the flying decisions that one makes. Many of these accidents are a result of poor aviation decision making. Self evaluations should be routine so one can identify their thought processes and patterns in an effort to identify a possible link in the chain that causes an accident or incident.


We as pilots must take it upon us to keep our skill level up.


I understand the Mountain Life Flight accident may have been mechanical so this post could be a little off topic but still related to the industry.


Just food for thought. Opinions?



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