Hi, out there!
My name is Opal Cavitt. I am starting this blog to converse with folks out there about a subject I feel is so important. I unexpectedly stumbled into helicopter medevac years ago. I was at a mountain resort in Colorado when a woman was thrown from a horse and seriously injured. One of the cowboys on the trip rode in frantically to get help. Flight For Life of Denver flew to the rescue. Later, I saw Flight For Life in the five o’clock news. I thought Wow that is something. My interest peaked. Like any lay person, I was completely unaware of the devastating toll injury takes on society. I contacted Flight For Life and told them I would like to write a book about them. As luck would have it they accepted the proposal.
At this time there is so much focus on the cost of health care and the toll that injury and violence takes on society. Over the past years, there has been a lot of focus on the devastating problem of helicopter accidents in the field. I know that finally the FAA has come up with a new final rule that is intended to hopefully create a safer environment for those in the field.
As professionals, I am sure you have insights and knowledge that may be untapped, but would be highly useful. One reads, about weather, poor visibility, and pilot error. What else is there? Wouldn’t you agree that there are other variables that play into the day to day scenarios? If so, I think a vast store of insight might essentially be wasted. You have daily experience in the field. Your thoughts and opinions count.
A helicopter is inherently an unstable aircraft which demands that the pilot be at the top of his skills to fly. At the same time, there are many other factors at play. The heavy responsibility of knowing that someone’s life is potentially at risk or you wouldn’t have been called. Pilots may put heavy pressure on their self to do what they feel must be done. The serious question is does the pilot have final authority in making go / no go decisions? Are there pressures from management to make the flight even though he feels a flight may be unadvisable because of poor weather or other factors? I have heard it said that pilots have long hours on the job and try to lead a normal life outside of work. Can you make any comment about either of these dilemmas?