First of all, for those that have been longtime followers, let me apologize for the absences of recent blogs over the last few months. For new followers, I hope you enjoy my blogs moving forward. It is not for a lack of wanting to write, just the time to do it.
One of the benefits of being busy is getting to attend trade shows and other events where I catch up with customers and hear their feedback on our products. One story, told to me at Heli-Expo this year, is long overdue for being repeated.
A patient needing critical care was being airlifted in an EMS helicopter. While inflight, the paramedics discovered the pilot was also having medical issues and not able to fly the helicopter. If not for the fact that HeliSAS had been engaged at the time the pilot became incapacitated, all four would have died. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. DEAD.
Fortunately for all, HeliSAS had been engaged, the paramedics were able to revive the pilot long enough to land the helicopter safely, and both the pilot and original patient were taken to the hospital.
EMS helicopter pilots are some of the best-trained pilots who undergo constant physical checks, so it was a massive surprise when the pilot had an issue at the exact time he was flying. I commend the EMS industry for investing in the safety of their employees and patients. It is by far the largest industry that has adopted the patented technology in Part 27 helicopters.
This is not the only story that I’ve heard where pilots have indicated they are alive because of HeliSAS. Several have entered inadvertent IMC and lived to tell about it. Would they have survived any way without HeliSAS? Maybe, but all stated their stress level was minimized by knowing HeliSAS was there as a copilot.
There is a lot of debate about the cost versus benefit analysis with HeliSAS. I guess my question is what is your life worth and are you willing to risk your life, your family’s lives or your employee’s lives? Think about it next time you climb in a helicopter.
Until next time, fly safely,