GoFundMe – Be there for Mark Boudreau

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Mark Boudreau has been an EMS pilot since 2010, currently with the University of Florida ShandsCair program. Prior to that Mark was a pilot with Geisinger Life Flight in Danville, PA.

Mark served our country in the United States Army for 10 years. He was a Warrant Officer, serving front line combat tours in Afghanistan, piloting Kiowa Warrior (OH58D). He is also a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. He dedicates himself to his job and his life to helping others.

Now Mark is in need of our help. Mark was diagnosed with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and is undergoing intense radiation and chemotherapy treatment. He will be out of work for an extended amount of time, so any donation would greatly be appreciated to help cover the cost of medical and travel expenses.

Please follow this link to donate: GoFundMe – Be there for Boudreau. Thank you.

NTSB preliminary report for Haynes Life Flight

n911gfNTSB Identification: ERA16FA140

Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, March 26, 2016 in Enterprise, AL
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350 B2, registration: N911GF
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 26, 2016 about 0018 central daylight time, a Eurocopter AS 350 B2, N911GF, impacted trees and terrain near Enterprise, Alabama. The airline transport pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient being transported, were fatally injured. The helicopter, registered to Haynes Life Flight LLC. and operated by Metro Aviation Inc. was substantially damaged. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135, as a helicopter emergency medical services flight. Night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan. The flight departed from a farm field near Goodman, Alabama about 0017, destined for Baptist Medical Center Heliport (AL11), Montgomery, Alabama.

According to the Coffee County Sherriff’s Office, on March 25, 2016 at approximately 2309, a 911 called was received when a witness observed a motor vehicle accident on County Road 606 near Goodman, Alabama. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched along with Enterprise Rescue Squad. Deputies also contacted Haynes Life Flight dispatch, when it was discovered that the vehicle was overturned and that an unconscious victim was inside.

According to communications records, the call from the deputies was received by Haynes Life Flight Dispatch at 23:19:10. The pilot of “Life Flight 2,” which was based at the Troy Regional Medical Center, Troy Alabama was notified at 23:20:38. The helicopter departed Troy at 23:26:57 and arrived at the landing zone (LZ) in a farm field adjacent to County Road 606 at 23:53:15.

According to witnesses, after touchdown, the pilot remained in the helicopter with the engine running. The flight paramedic and flight nurse exited the helicopter and entered the Enterprise Rescue Squad ambulance to help prepare the patient for transport. Once the patient was ready for transport, the flight nurse and flight paramedic along with several other emergency responders rolled the gurney approximately 70 yards through a grassy area to the helicopter and loaded the patient on-board. Once the patient had been loaded, the flight nurse and flight paramedic boarded, and at 00:16:45 the helicopter lifted off and turned north towards AL11.

Fog, mist, and reduced visibility existed at the LZ at the time of the helicopter’s arrival. Witnesses also observed that these same conditions were still present when the helicopter lifted off approximately 23 minutes later. The helicopter climbed vertically into cloud layer that was approximately 150 feet above ground level and disappeared when it turned left in a northbound direction toward AL11. Review of the recorded weather at Enterprise Municipal Airport (EDN), Enterprise, Alabama, located 4 nautical miles east of the accident site, at 0015, included winds from 120 degrees at 4 knots, 3 statute miles visibility in drizzle, overcast clouds at 3oo feet, temperature 17 degrees C, dew point 17 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

According to Haynes Life Flight, the on-board Skyconnect satellite tracking system provided position updates for the helicopter every 3 minutes. Additionally, the pilot was supposed to contact them every 15 minutes via radio. After the helicopter departed on the accident flight, Haynes Life Flight did not receive the pilot’s normal 15-minute check-in, and when they checked the satellite tracking system, it showed that the helicopter was still at the LZ, though they knew it had lifted off. Haynes Life Flight then began to notify authorities that the helicopter was missing. After an extensive search by authorities, at approximately 0700, and around the area of County Road 615 and 616, search parties began to smell what they believed was jet fuel. The helicopter was eventually located the wreckage in a swampy, heavily wooded area.

Review of preliminary radar data provided by the United States Army from the approach control radar site at Cairns Army Airfield (OZR), Fort Rucker, Alabama, located 13 nautical miles east of the accident site, indicated that after takeoff the helicopter had entered a left turn, and climbed to 1,000 feet above mean sea level. At 00:18:04, the rate of turn began to increase. At 00:18:18 the rate of turn continued to increase and the helicopter reached a peak altitude of 1,100 feet. It remained at this altitude until approximately 00:18:28 when the helicopter began a rapid descent. Five seconds later, that helicopter had descended through 600 feet. Moments later, radar contact was lost when the helicopter descended below the floor of the radar coverage area.

Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the helicopter had struck trees approximately a 1/2-mile north of where it had departed. A debris path that passed through the trees prior to where the helicopter came to rest and ran from south to north, exhibited an approximate 45-degree descent angle through the trees. The wreckage was heavily fragmented with only the aft fuselage being generally recognizable. The fuel tank was broken open, and the smell of jet fuel was present. The engine and transmission were separated from their mounts, and the helicopter had struck a large tree prior to coming to rest. A crater approximately 10 by 20 feet wide was present prior to a large tree the wreckage came to rest next to, and other trees (approximately 80 to 100 feet tall) along the energy path, exhibited impact damage and evidence of blade strikes.

Evidence of power was visible on the main rotor blades (MRBs) and the blue and red MRBs were broken in mutual locations. The transmission and engine were also separated from the fuselage.

The tail boom displayed a right horizontal bend mid-span but the right horizontal stabilizer and the tail rotor had remained attached to the tail boom, with both tail rotor blades exhibiting minimal damage. Control continuity and rotation were confirmed from the tailrotor to the aft bulkhead. The left side horizontal stabilizer was separated from its mounting location. The tail rotor pedals were separated from their mounting locations; however, continuity throughout the tail rotor flex ball cable was confirmed.

Continuity was also confirmed through the transmission and the top mounts of the left lateral and fore-aft main rotor hydraulic servos indicated that they had separated from the transmission due to overload forces. No abnormalities with hydraulic servo integrity were noted, and all push pull tubes and mixing units actuators were observed to be broken with overload signatures.

Examination of the engine revealed that it had separated from the helicopter during the impact sequence. Externally the engine displayed impact damage. Examination of the free turbine revealed that it had not shed its blades. The Fuel Control Unit (FCU) was separated from the accessory gearbox but both FCU shafts were present and not broken, and the FCU remained attached by the fuel and air lines. The P2 line was still attached on both the intermediate case and the FCU. The axial compressor had foreign object damage (FOD), on all 13 blades, and curling opposite the direction of rotation was observed on several. Both Module 1 and Module 5 magnetic plugs were clean. Both electric chip detectors (main and TU208 rear bearing) were clean. Module 5 was removed and the input pinion slippage mark was found displaced in the over-torqued direction approximately 2-2 1/2 mm, consistent with power at the time of main rotor strike. The freewheel shaft was checked and proper operation confirmed. Continuity to the N2 drive of the FCU was confirmed. The gas generator and free turbine could not be turned by hand. The oil, air, and fuel lines were remained connected to engine and properly saftied. The electrical connection cannon plugs were still connected to the engine deck, but the harnesses had broken during the impact sequence. The rear engine mount was still connected to the linking tube but both rubber mounts were separated from the engine deck. The front support was broken at the connection to the aircraft liaison tube. The transmission shaft was found inside the liaison tube but neither side flector groups nor bolts were connected to it. The flector group on the engine side was still connected to the flanged adapter and on the freewheel shaft. The 3 bolts to the transmission shaft had been broken and the holes were found elongated opposite the direction of rotation consistent with power being produced at rotor strike.

The accident helicopter was manufactured in 1998. It was equipped with a three-blade main rotor system, a two-blade tail rotor system, and was powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine rated at 641 shaft horsepower. The helicopter was equipped with skid-type landing gear, Night vision goggles (NVG) and NVG-compatible lighting, a helicopter terrain avoidance warning system, and an autopilot. The helicopter was not certificated for flight in IMC conditions.

According to the operator, the helicopter was maintained under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved aircraft inspection program. The helicopter’s most recent inspection was completed on February 12, 2016. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had accrued 8,923.2 total hours of operation.

According to FAA records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for helicopter and type ratings for the AB-139 and AW-139. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for helicopter and instrument helicopter. According to the operator, he had been employed by them for approximately 6 months and had 90 hours of flight experience in the accident helicopter make and model since he was hired. His total flight experience was 5,301 hours, 5,265 of which was as pilot in command, 474 hours of which was at night, and 265 of which were in actual instrument meteorological conditions. His flight experience during the 90 days prior to the accident was 47 hours, including 20 hours in the 30 days prior to the accident. The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.


PAC International to customize Bell 407GX for University of Utah

univofutahPAC International has been awarded a contract from the University of Utah’s AirMed program to provide an EMS interior for their Bell model 407GX. This contract will include the installation of a custom LifePort / PAC medical interior, exterior paint, communication upgrades, autopilot, air conditioning and bleed air heat. This project will be completed with equipment and support from a variety of vendors to include Lifeport, Air Comm, Genesys, Paravion, Technisonic, Honeywell, Garmin, Dart, AAI and ASU.

“PAC International has customized and completed hundreds of helicopters for more than 25 years and has always specialized in providing the customer with the configuration they desire,” says PAC Completion and Projects Manager, Marty Blough. “We have always worked with our customers to give them the custom configuration that works best for them, instead of offering only option A or B. With safety and FAA certification as our primary guide, we strive to provide the desired equipment and configuration that these dedicated teams require in their commitment to saving lives.”

PAC International, a Metro Aviation company, has a world-wide reputation for providing a wide range of innovative, customer-focused, high quality helicopter completion and customizing services on Bell, Airbus, Agusta, Sikorsky and MD Helicopters. They have established a reputation for providing state-of-the-art services in helicopter paintingcustom interior fabrication and avionics installations, and PAC has a long history of providing customized medical interiors to meet its customers’ mission-specific profiles.

AirMed was established in 1978, as the eighth air medical transport program in the nation. They transport trauma, burns, medical, pediatric, neonate, high-risk OB, and cardiac assist device patients 24 hours a day with six helicopters and two airplanes placed throughout northern Utah and Wyoming.


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta chooses EC145E

Metro Aviation becachildrenshealthcare145me the first North American customer for the EC145e when it contracted to purchase six helicopters and launched an extensive demo tour of the new lighter weight, lower cost version of the highly successful EC145.  Metro recently identified Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as the launch customer for the 145e and says they are excited to begin operating the variant in the U.S.

“We are glad to see a customer embrace the unique capabilities of the e-lite platform to support the critical needs of their customer base,” said Metro Managing Director Milton Geltz.  “The aircraft can accommodate up to five specialty care clinicians or four clinicians and a family member.”

The EC145e retains the power, performance and reliability of the legacy EC145, but with a useful load of up to 300 pounds more than the original.  Children’s e-lite will be equipped with Metro’s air conditioning system, HeliSAS and specialty pediatric care equipment.

Children’s currently operates an Airbus BK117.  “We are accustomed to the size of the BK117 and we were attracted to the greater useful load and reduced cost of the EC145e,” said Greg Pereira, Director of Transport and Trauma.  “We are looking forward to the capabilities of this new ship, including the ability to transform it into a pediatric intensive care unit.”

Metro expects to complete the new aircraft this summer.  The EC145e will be displayed at HELI-EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky, March 1-3, on Booth #9337.


Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) places order for one Airbus Helicopters H135-series

DHART lands at DHMCLOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 1, 2016) – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART), an air medical transport services provider forNorthern New England, has contracted with Airbus Helicopters Inc. for the purchase of one H135-series helicopter.

With bases in Lebanon and Manchester, N.H., DHART provides air ambulance services throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. DHART operates more than 1,400 missions per year with two EC135 aircraft equipped with the latest IFR (instrument flight rules) avionics and medical technology. The new aircraft, which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2016, will replace an older EC135, which will be transitioned to a dedicated backup role. Metro Aviation of Shreveport, La. will operate and provide aviation services for the new DHART aircraft.

HART’s new H135-series helicopter will be outfitted with the latest avionics technology – the Garmin GTN 750, a fully integrated GPS/NAV/COMM multifunction avionics display system. This feature-rich system provides terrain mapping, air traffic viewing, satellite weather reporting and detailed geo-referenced charting.

The state-of-the-art technology will allow DHART to maximize use of their Helicopter Low-Level IFR Enroute and Approach Structure to serve 30 hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont in poor weather conditions. The new technology provides the pilot and crew with superb situational awareness and current data to enhance the already efficient and safe IFR transport system.

“We chose the H135-series because it fits our mission profile for outstanding performance in our operating environment,” said Kyle Madigan, Program Director of DHART. “Northern New England consists of challenging mountain terrain and coastal communities. We needed a helicopter that offers maximum maneuverability and safety in the areas we service, while providing the high- and low-altitude performance margins needed to accomplish our mission of saving lives.”

“DHART purchased its first EC135 from Airbus Helicopters over 17 years ago and was the first to operate a single pilot IFR EC135 in the nation,” said Treg Manning, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Airbus Helicopters, Inc.  “DHART’s decision to add a new H135-series aircraft to their air medical fleet is a strong endorsement for Airbus Helicopters, and also for the proven safety track record and exceptional performance of the H135/EC135 family of aircraft.”

Airbus Helicopters’ H135-series rotorcraft is the twin-engine platform of choice among air medical service providers due to its performance, safety features, operator efficiency and cabin flexibility. The H135/EC135 family accounted for nearly 60 percent of U.S. air medical service helicopter deliveries in the last decade. H135-series options include a wide range of dedicated air medical and EMS interiors that provide ample room for equipment, medical crew, and single- or dual-patient transport.  In-flight intensive care stations (including resuscitation functionality), incubators and hygiene-convenient flooring can be installed in the cabin. The Fenestron tail rotor and rear-fuselage clamshell doors offer a safe environment for loading and unloading patients.

For more information on Airbus Helicopters’ H135-series and other industry-leading rotorcraft, visit Airbus Helicopters Booth #9651 at Heli-Expo 2016 in Louisville.


UW Health Med Flight Expands to Southwestern Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin – UW Health Med Flight plans to establish a satellite medical-helicopter base in southwestern Wisconsin, a move that will improve response times for medical emergencies in the area.

A second base will be set up at the Iowa County Airport near Mineral Point this spring. Med Flight’s primary base remains at University Hospital.

“Response times to southwestern Wisconsin will be cut by approximately 20 minutes with the new base near Mineral Point,” said Frank Erdman, manager of critical-care transport. “Having a helicopter based in southwestern Wisconsin will not only improve response times but will provide faster physician and nurse access to patients with life-threatening trauma and medical conditions.”

Med Flight provides a physician on every flight, an arrangement which is not typical for medical-helicopter services.

“Physicians are available 100 percent of the time when Med Flight is in the air,” said Dr. Ryan Wubben, Med Flight medical director.

The closest paramedics to Mineral Point are based in Dubuque, Iowa, Fitchburg and Prairie du Sac, 45 to 55 miles away.

“There are many basic emergency medical technicians and volunteer first responders who provide crucial, life-saving services in southwestern Wisconsin,” said Wubben. “They are trained in essential medical services and request our services when complex care is needed.”

The aircraft is a twin-engine EC-135 model capable of flying 155 miles per hour. Med Flight’s aircraft has state-of-the-art navigational and safety equipment, including automatic terrain-avoidance systems, night-vision-goggle technology and instrument-flight rules (IFR) capability to enhance visual flying.

The Iowa County Airport facility is a 2,000-square-foot space inside a leased hangar. The facility provides 24-hour office space, storage for medical supplies and helicopter support equipment.

Med Flight, which is celebrating its 31st year, has a service radius of 250 miles in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, and makes more than 1,000 flights each year. It transports patients to all three Madison hospitals.


REACH Air Medical Services announces opening of new air ambulance base in Alpine, California

Alpine, CA – December 22, 2015 – REACH Air Medical Services (REACH) announces the opening of its new air ambulance base in Alpine, California. This emergency medical helicopter service is located on the Viejas Indian Reservation serving the tribal communities and surrounding region with 24/7/365 emergency air medical transport. This is the sixth REACH air transport vehicle providing service in Southern California.

Placement of this helicopter is the result of many years of planning between REACH, headquartered in Northern California, the leadership of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and their Fire Department. Tribal Chairman Robert J. Welch shared, “Our community health and safety has always been a top priority for the Viejas Tribal government. REACH offers our tribal community as well as our neighboring rural communities the necessary life-saving transport services vital to critically injured and ill patients.”
Fire Chief Don Butz stated, “The culmination of these efforts means that many thousands of residents and visitors in this area will have improved access to critical care air transport services. We look forward to this partnership bringing an improved quality of life to our community.”

REACH President Sean Russell, who has been with the company for 25 years, noted, “This collaboration with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians is something unique and special. We are excited to embark on this partnership, our first with a Native American entity. We appreciate the opportunity to bring innovative solutions to the communities we serve.”

The aircraft chosen to serve this area is an AirBus EC-135 helicopter with dual engines and IFR capability, which allows it to fly when some aircraft are grounded due to weather. It flies with airspeeds up to 150 miles per hour and has the capacity to carry the flight crew and patient, and whenever possible, a family member on board during transport. The crew is equipped with night vision goggles to enhance safety of nighttime flights. This helicopter will serve as a back-up resource to the REACH air ambulance bases providing service from Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties.

In October of this year, REACH Air Medical Services was named Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). This award is hailed as one of the air medical industry’s highest honors and is presented annually to one company whose program most clearly exceeds industry standards for safety, patient care, leadership and community service.

REACH is part of the AirMedCare Network–the nation’s largest air ambulance membership program– which covers out-of-pocket expenses for members in the event of an emergency air transport by REACH or any other AirMedCare Network service provider. For a low-cost annual fee, individuals and companies may join more than 1.7 million members who receive coverage from more than 220 air transport locations in 32 states coast to coast.


Native Air 5 crash kills 2, Flight Medic survives

nativeair5

Native Air 5, based in Globe, Arizona, crashed last night into the Superstitions Mountains while enroute from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to Globe. The accident scene is approximately 20 miles east of Apache Junction.

Killed in the accident were 51 year old pilot David Schneider of Gilbert, and 38 year old flight nurse Chad Frary, of Mesa. The flight medic, 38 year old Derek Boehm of Gilbert, survived with serious injuries.

The aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350B3, was first reported missing at 1800 hours. At 2027 the wreckage was located by another Native Air helicopter. but was unable to land due to the terrain. At 2215 a military helicopter was able to extract Derek Boehm. Published reports indicate Derek Boehm was taken to a trauma center in Phoenix and is listed in fair condition.


SkyLife 4 crash near McFarland, CA kills 4

n408fc

SkyLife 4, (N408FC) a 2000 Bell 407, crashed near McFarland, California on Thursday evening while transporting a patient. Killed in the accident were pilot Thomas Hampl, flight nurse Marco Lopez, flight medic Kyle Juarez and an unidentified patient.

The following is from the FAA Preliminary Accident and Incident Report: N408FC SkyLife 04 BELL 407 Rotorcraft Air Medical Flight crashed under unknown circumstances, the 4 persons on board were fatally injured, alert notice issued and wreckage located 5 miles from Famaso Airport, near McFarland, CA.

 


EMTC Air 1 celebrates 30 years

banner-air1-crew-2015-1024x495ETMC’s Air 1 program is celebrating a milestone with 30 years of service to East Texas. The first flight was December 1985 with a transport of a burn patient to Dallas.

ETMC Air 1 has served East Texans by providing emergency helicopter transport for victims of car accidents and cardiac and stroke patients, as well as assisting in helping find a lost child in the piney woods.

“Air 1 is especially beneficial to our rural areas and when critically ill patients need to get to the hospital right away,” said program director Kelly Cox.

The ETMC Regional Trauma System has an established fleet of three ETMC Air 1 emergency helicopters stationed throughout the region including Tyler, Athens and Mount Pleasant. This allows ETMC to provide high-quality care and rapid transport to residents within 60,000 square miles of the surrounding areas.

The fleet is composed of three EC-135 helicopters that are teamed with a pilot, nurse and paramedic. Each aircraft is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week. Helicopters are stationed in Tyler, Athens and Mt. Pleasant.

ETMC Air 1 is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Transport Services. “Safety is the focus every time we fly and our goal is to complete each mission without any issues,” added Cox. “I am so proud of our team and the countless lives we have saved over the past 30 years. We look forward to continuing to bring excellent patient care to the people of East Texas.”

ETMC Air 1 partners with Metro Aviation, Inc., a pioneer and leader in the air ambulance industry.