AMGH Medical Flight Gets More Helicopters

The well-known Air Medical Group Holdings which operates one of the largest fleet of medical flight helicopters is set to get even bigger. Bell Helicopter has recently inked a deal with the company. According to this contract, AMGH would purchase eight brand new Bell 206L-4 medical flight choppers. The contract was signed by the Bell Helicopter’s global sales and marketing VP Patrick Moulay and Seth Myers who is the president of Air Evac Lifeteam (a subsidiary of AMGH).

The New Helicopters will be Part of a Huge Fleet of Medical Flight Helicopters

Air Evac Lifeteam already has a fleet of 130 Bell 206L-4 medical flight helicopters. So, operating the choppers is nothing new for the company. The company has also found these vehicles reliable and that’s the reason they’ve gone with the same models again, revealed Seth recently. He said Air Evac Lifeteam was going by the “reliability and performance” of these helicopters.

Once the deal was signed, Bell hosted a celebratory event to mark the 30th anniversary of their esteemed client. Patrick Moulay said that the event was aimed at celebrating the successful missions carried out by Air Evac Lifeteam over three decades and the lives that have been saved during this time.

Bell 206L-4 Medical Flight Helicopters are Very Reliable

There is a reason why Bell 206L-4 is so popular with medical flight operators around the world. Not only are they easily customizable, they are also known to offer unparalleled visibility in situations where landing is quite tough as it sports wrap-around windows for pilots.

Air Evac Lifeteam operates from over 120 bases throughout the United States and is the biggest independently operated and owned medical flight operator in the country. The signing of the new deal has made the company even bigger. For the common man this means better accessibility to emergency medical flight helicopters during matters of life and death.

Laser Pointer Threatens Medical Flight Again

In an incident that’s not a first, a medical flight in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, was in for an unpleasant surprise last Sunday when a laser pointer was flashed at it, almost blinding the pilot momentarily. The police had immediately received a complaint about the incident from the medical flight operators. Thankfully, nothing untoward occurred and the medical flight went on to complete the flight safely. The incident happened at 7:30 in the evening, on a day when the medical flight was involved in several rescue missions.

It was a Child that Targeted the Medical Flight

Call it mischief or an innocent mistake; it was later found that a child had committed the act. However, the residents of Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, were not too pleased with the incident with one of the residents opining that the parents of the child should be held responsible for the act.

When such an incident takes place, the perpetrators not only put the medical flight in jeopardy but also the community on which the chopper might potentially crash. There is a need to educate both adults and children regarding the dangers of flashing laser pointers at aircrafts.

The Officials Showed their Concern for the Medical Flight

The Chairwoman of Witham St. Hughs Parish Council, Karen Harrison, said that the act of flashing the laser pointer by a member of their community was just appalling and that the community was in full support of any action that would be taken against the perpetrator.

A police spokesperson was reported as saying that such acts were not only dangerous but also a criminal offence. The spokesperson went on to say that the device was not a toy and must be kept out of reach of little children. It was advised that the parents take such device away from kids and destroy them before disposing them off.

The matter has been brought to the notice of UK’s Civil Aviation Authority as well as the local police of Lincolnshire.

Medical Flight Crash off Senegal Kills 7

It was only a few weeks ago that we witnessed a deadly medical flight crash that snuffed the life of the five- member crew, when the aircraft went down in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve, in the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. This time it was a medical flight in Senegal in West Africa. The medical flight was carrying 7 people, all of whom lost their lives in the crash.

 

The Crew of the Unfortunate Medical Flight

The medical flight was carrying a French lady, whose identify has not been released. She was accompanied by 6 other people including two crew members from Algeria, a man from Congo, two nurses and a doctor from Senegal. The medical flight was headed towards Dakar from Burkina Faso. The aircraft had gone off the radar at 7 in the evening. The medical flight was 111 kilometers from the capital of Senegal.

Why did the Medical Flight Crash?

The medical flight belonged to a company from Senegal and was a twin-engine HS125 aircraft. It had crossed its path with a Boeing aircraft. Initially, it was suggested that the two aircrafts might have come in contact with each other midair. However, there was no confirmation about this report. The civil aviation authority, on its part, though, has not accepted or denied this theory, saying that the matter is being investigated. The Boeing belongs to Ceiba International Airlines and was originally headed to the capital of Cotonou but the route was later changed to Malabo.

There were also other reports that the medical flight had run out of fuel midair. This theory was reported by the country’s Futures Medias, which is a news group. The local media, however, went with the midair collision theory. Whatever the cause of the medical flight crash, the incident brings to light poor coordination of the aviation authorities. Only further investigation will reveal the real cause of the crash.

Royal Medical Flight Pilot’s Security

Yes, we’re speaking about Prince William. Recently, the Price had to go on a medical flight mission to HM Prison Highpoint, Suffolk. The call for emergency medical care from the prison was made when one of the inmates suffered a seizure. The Prince, however, did not enter the prison and stood by the medical flight. He was accompanied by a royal protection officer as well as four prison guards. There were several onlookers who were trying to get a glimpse of the Prince but they were kept at a distance by the guards.

When you look at it, the medical flight job that William is currently involved demands that he land in places filled with common people most of the time, which raises a need for heightened security; after all, he is second in line to the British Throne.

There is Security in the Medial Flight too

It is widely believed that Prince William always has security officers accompanying him in the medical flight. Although air ambulances typically are constrained for space, an exception has been made for the star medical flight pilot. While it is speculated that only one security officer accompanies William, it is not known exactly how many accompany him.

Earlier suggestions were made that the security officer/s too be trained to provide emergency medical assistance, although it is not known whether this advice was heeded or not.

Security of William’s Medical Flight is always an Issue

Earlier an app that tracks any aircraft including a medical flight was cited as security threat. It was opined that the app could be used by terrorists to track William’s medical flight location. The data of the medical flight was subsequently removed from the app.

William is perhaps the best brand ambassador that the air ambulance industry could have had. He also donates his entire salary of 40,000 pounds to an undisclosed charity.

Alberta Mom has to Bear Double Medical Flight Costs

Amy Savill, originally from High Prairie, was having a great time vacationing in Ontario this summer with her family, when things suddenly started taking a turn. Amy, an expecting mom, went into labor two months prior to her actual due date. Her worried family wasted no time taking her to a local hospital in Timmins, but were told that the medical facility was not equipped to handle premature births of under 32 weeks. The family was forced to take Amy to Sudbury and were expecting a bill anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000.

The Initial Medical Flight Costs were Less than Expected

It was a welcome relief for Amy Savill when the medical flight bill arrived. Although the bill still ran into a few thousand dollars, Amy reported that it was still less than what she was expecting. She had initially hoped that either the Alberta or Ontario administrations would take care of the medical flight bill, only to be told later that she would have to fend for herself.

Support Poured in for Amy’s Medical Flight Plight

Ontario’s Council of Hospitals came out openly in support of Amy. Eric Newstadt who is a part of the Council said that she should not have been compelled to pay in the first place and no Canadian should. He opined that the medical flight bill was in clear violation of Canada Health Act that ensures portable healthcare within Canadian provinces.

Amy’s Medical Flight Woes are Not Done Yet

Amy is now faced with a new problem. She has to fly her infant girl back home to Alberta. The medical flight is going to cost her $55,000. An Ontario-based group by the name Global Angel has come forward to help Amy by collecting funds for the medical flight. So far, the group has been able to garner $15,000. The last few weeks have been full of anxiety for Amy and her family.

The Life and Death of Medical Flight Pilot Patrick Mahany

We had recently reported the tragic death of veteran medical flight pilot Patrick Mahany, who was also a war veteran. His life was unfortunately snuffed off when the medical flight he was flying came crashing in a parking lot in Frisco, Colorado, just minutes after take off. Here we bring you a few details of this medical flight pilot who laid down his life on the line of duty.

Mahany was an Expert Medical Flight Pilot

Mahany had been with Flight for Life since 27 years. He was also the recipient of Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his contributions to the country in the 1971 Vietnam War. He was described as a man with Irish demeanor, a jovial person and most importantly a very talented pilot who was very comfortable with medical flight operations. He was looked up to by his colleagues and of course his own son.

Ryan Followed the Footsteps of his Medical Flight Pilot Father

Ryan Mahany, the son of Patrick, idolized his father and walked his footsteps. Ryan himself is an army helicopter pilot. He had been part of rescue operations in Afghanistan. As a pilot of a Black Hawk, Ryan had rescued two pilots who had crashed in the treacherous terrains of Tora Bora in Afghanistan that borders Pakistan. The same night, in a separate operation, he had rescued two stranded pilots of an Apache chopper. Ryan had been awarded Air Medal for the bravery that he had displayed. In fact, Patrick Mahany had lauded his son for his brave efforts at that point.

The Injured are Now Recovering

The paramedic and the nurse who were involved in the medical flight crash along with Patrick Mahany are reported to be recovering at the moment. No patients were onboard during the incident.

The Investigations into the Medical Flight Crash are On

Flight for Life belongs to Air Methods. An investigation behind the medical flight crash is still on and is being conducted by the FAA and NTSB. The chopper that crashed was an AS350 B3.

The Peculiar Case of Medical Flight Ditching the Patient

A picture of air ambulance and ground ambulance

This outrageous incident happened in India and involved the country’s Luan Airways. The case involved the patient, Surendra Boruah, who was suffering from septicemia. In spite of paying the full money in advance, the medical flight service provider refused to carry the patient as he did not posses the certificate clearing him of swine flu. The family of the patient had already paid over $14,000 for the domestic medical flight. India is country where health insurance is not very prevalent and medical expenses are often borne by individuals in full.

They Went through Great Pains to Fund the Medical Flight

Coming up with $14,000 for the medical flight was no joke for Surendra’s family. They had to borrow money by pledging the family land to raise the money. However, when the family reached the airport, located about 18 kilometers away, they were made to wait for hours as the officials responsible for operation of the medical flight constantly refused to take the patient aboard. The bone of contention was the fact that the patient had no medical certificate stating that he was free of swine flu.

The Medical Flight Service Provider had not Intimated the Family

The family of the patient alleged that they were not informed about the need for swine flu clearance by the medical flight service provider. They only came to know about the requirement on arrival at the airport. The patient was lying on the stretcher, suffering severe septicemia that had spread to different parts of his body. The family also said that the patient had shown no signs of septicemia.

The Cost of Medical Flight was Not Refunded in Full

Here’s the most atrocious part of this whole episode. According to the family of the patient, they were refused a full refund of the amount they had paid in full. In fact, more than $4500 was deducted as cancellation charge and fine. This, in spite of the air ambulance company itself cancelling the flight! The family has now decided to sue Luan Airways.

Ebola and State Dept. Handling of Medical Flight Contract: Did Things Go Wrong?

Did you know that the US State Department and CDC had been maintaining air ambulances with high-tech infection containment systems since about a decade? Sounds like great preparedness to transport patients when contagious diseases like Ebola hit us, doesn’t it? Here’s the catch. When the actual Ebola epidemic took the world by surprise, these medical necessities were packed up in a warehouse in Georgia.

What is the Containment System in the Medical Flight All About?

The containment structure that looks like a tent is called the Aeromedical Biological Containment System. Today, it is used by Phoenix Air, which transports Ebola patients from West Africa. The containment system was designed between 2007 and 2010 taking the SARS scare into consideration. CDC and Phoenix Air had designed the system so that it can fit into a medical flight.

Supposedly, $15 million were paid to the company, mostly as retainer fee between 2005 and 2011. The idea was that the modified medical flight could be used during epidemic emergencies. It was fitted to a Gulfstream jet air ambulance. The medical flight service was kept on standby so that it can be put into action on a moment’s notice.

Why was the Medical Flight with Containment System not put into Use on Time?

The containment unit was not used after it was designed as there was never a necessity. So, ultimately, CDC decided that paying a retainer amount to Phoenix Air was an unnecessary expense and the containment system was shelved in 2011. More intriguing was the fact that no inquiries were made about the equipment that can be fitted to the medical flight even when the Ebola scare had risen to epic proportions and several American rescue workers were fighting the virus in West Africa. It was only in August that this medical flight was brought back into action.

The medical flight is currently on a 24/7 alert. It is believed that evacuations have been more than three a month on average. Although the reasons given for the delay in bringing the medical flight service back have varied across different government departments and CDC, the return has been a welcome one for the Americans fighting Ebola in West Africa.