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AirEvac Helicopter emergency landing

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dward42586

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Lake Keystone - West of Tulsa
AirEvac Life Team Helicopter emergency landing

Occured late last night 7/3/06:

After responding to a one car accident in Pawnee county on the north access road on Interstate 412 between the Old Keystone Road exit and the Westport exit, after picking up the patient, an Air Evac medical helicopter made an emergency landing in a field immedietly after take-off from the accident scene when debris hit the rotor blades. No one was injured in the landing.

The patient was then taken by ambulance to a Tulsa hospital.

Monitored on (154.80, Pawnee County SD), (155.76 Cleveland dispatcher on local govt.), and (154.43, Peninnsula VFD). Eagle Med medical helicopter was apparantly also dispatched, but I never heard them arriving.

The drunk driver was not injured, just his passengers.
 

freqscout

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
698
Well imagine that...the drunk wasn't hurt.
You know it has actually been heard stated here in the city, "I'm glad I was so drunk, I wouldn't have been so limber!" after a serious accident.

Did they say if there was actually any damage to the rotors or did they just set the helo down for safe measure.
 

OkRob

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
184
Much better than when their blanket came out of their side compartment and got in their tail rotor, which caused them to crash in Sapulpa about 18 months ago. Glad no one was hurt.

- Rob
 

car2back

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Dec 19, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Tulsa, OK
I am going to start carrying an advance directive stating I am to be transported by Lifeflight, Eagle Med, or ground ambulance only, no Airevac!!
 

CommShrek

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Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
664
A quick check of Airevac Lifeteam's safety record shows less than stellar performance. I think Phil has the right idea.
 

iamhere300

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1,293
Location
Chappell Hill TX
A little common sense goes a LONG way.

First off, I am not affiliated with AirEvac in any way, other than someone
who calls for their services. I do not sell to AirEvac, lease to AirEvac, or other
wise do business with AirEvac, nor do I see ever expect to do so. That said, I used
to sell to them, having designed their radio system, one of the first in the
country to use a VoIP system to connect their sites together across their
response area. At that time, Motorola told me at one of the dealer meetings
that they "Thought" they were going to be doing something with VoIP in the future. I
explained to them that we were already doing it.

That said,

In our little part of the world, and many others, AirEvac has been a godsend. Hospital
based services in little towns like ours, and most other areas they are based in do not
exist. Why? No money in it. Thats why you see the hospital based services
operating out of places like Tulsa and OKC, not Cushing, Pauls Valley, etc. That lowers
response times tremendously - instead of the bird having to come out of OKC to a crash
in Alma OK, they can come out of Pauls Valley. Much shorter response. Do the bigger birds fly quicker? Sure, but not quick enough to make up for the much shorter response.

Twin engines versus single engine? The FAA will tell you in a heartbeat that there is
NOTHING to show one is better than the other in terms of failure. Just because it is a
twin engine does NOT mean that it is redundant.

Crews? I have been on literally HUNDREDS of scenes with AirEvac personnel. I have NEVER had an issue with their people. They have always been helpful, NEVER pressured
to take the patient from the ground crews. NEVER. Ain't seen it. NEVER. They have ALWAYS asked the ground crew if they WANT them to take the patient. I suspect that a lot of the supposed complaints about this happening comes from ground crews that do not want to take the patient, but do not want to explain to their supervisors why.

Safety? AirEvac has problems from time to time. But, mile for mile, they have no more than the rest of the industry. Check it out. Read it again. MILE FOR MILE, they have no more mechanical issues or safety issues than others in the industry. Remember, they have over 60 birds, and local papers will report an issue they had at a base in eastern KY as if it happened in Beggs.

It is an emotional issue for sure. AirEvac comes into an area, many feel threatened thinking that it will cause the local EMS agency to cut hours back. (Hint - it hardly ever happens) Lots of people who apply for jobs with them don't get them, which leads to some disgruntled "experts". Lots of people like to pick at industry leaders. (Look at the people who always slam Motorola) Lots of people who work for their competition - right here on these forums in fact.

Bottom line for me, if I am in a crash or accident, and I need good care, and air transportation, I will take the first available service that has trained personnel.

BTW, if you want another interesting way to look at this, look at the number of
accidents that ground based units have! You may never want to ride in a ground ambulance!
 

KK5FM

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
234
Location
Guthrie, OK
iamhere300 said:
I used
to sell to them, having designed their radio system, one of the first in the
country to use a VoIP system to connect their sites together across their
response area.
So THAT'S how their system works! Thanks for this info!
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,881
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
I don't think it connects the sites together, just the sites back to their comunications center.
Their system here in Mineral Wells sucks.
They run their VoIP link on a control station radio which has about 1.5 second hang time when the dispacther unkeys (not the repeater hang time) and probably a delay time before the dispatcher starts hearing the repeater audio. As a result the aircraft and dispatchers are always doubling with eachother and usually don't even realize it. The repeater receiver also gets hammered by some digital paging base station all the time. Sometimes it sounds like they have very little radio training, just like the VFDs that they try to talk to for LZ info.
 

CommShrek

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
664
iamhere300 said:
A little common sense goes a LONG way.

First off, I am not affiliated with AirEvac in any way, other than someone
who calls for their services. I do not sell to AirEvac, lease to AirEvac, or other
wise do business with AirEvac, nor do I see ever expect to do so. That said, I used
to sell to them, having designed their radio system, one of the first in the
country to use a VoIP system to connect their sites together across their
response area. At that time, Motorola told me at one of the dealer meetings
that they "Thought" they were going to be doing something with VoIP in the future. I
explained to them that we were already doing it.
That said,

In our little part of the world, and many others, AirEvac has been a godsend. Hospital
based services in little towns like ours, and most other areas they are based in do not
exist. Why? No money in it. Thats why you see the hospital based services
operating out of places like Tulsa and OKC, not Cushing, Pauls Valley, etc. That lowers
response times tremendously - instead of the bird having to come out of OKC to a crash
in Alma OK, they can come out of Pauls Valley. Much shorter response. Do the bigger birds fly quicker? Sure, but not quick enough to make up for the much shorter response.
Just because there's a crash near Pauls Valley and you call Airevac Lifeteam to come pick up the patient because you know there's a helicopter in Pauls Valley, DOES NOT mean that they won't send you a helicopter from McAlester or Claremore.

Twin engines versus single engine? The FAA will tell you in a heartbeat that there is
NOTHING to show one is better than the other in terms of failure. Just because it is a
twin engine does NOT mean that it is redundant.
I'd like to humbly disagree with you about this statement. Lose power in a single engine helicopter and you are gong down, right where it happens. Lose power in a twin engine and the pilot says a few choice words and finds himself a spot to land immediately per SOP. FLIGHT CAN STILL BE MAINTAINED ON ONE ENGINE SIR. So what's the FAA going to tell me again? :)

Crews? I have been on literally HUNDREDS of scenes with AirEvac personnel. I have NEVER had an issue with their people. They have always been helpful, NEVER pressured
to take the patient from the ground crews. NEVER. Ain't seen it. NEVER. They have ALWAYS asked the ground crew if they WANT them to take the patient. I suspect that a lot of the supposed complaints about this happening comes from ground crews that do not want to take the patient, but do not want to explain to their supervisors why.

Safety? AirEvac has problems from time to time. But, mile for mile, they have no more than the rest of the industry. Check it out. Read it again. MILE FOR MILE, they have no more mechanical issues or safety issues than others in the industry. Remember, they have over 60 birds, and local papers will report an issue they had at a base in eastern KY as if it happened in Beggs.

It is an emotional issue for sure. AirEvac comes into an area, many feel threatened thinking that it will cause the local EMS agency to cut hours back. (Hint - it hardly ever happens) Lots of people who apply for jobs with them don't get them, which leads to some disgruntled "experts". Lots of people like to pick at industry leaders. (Look at the people who always slam Motorola) Lots of people who work for their competition - right here on these forums in fact.

Bottom line for me, if I am in a crash or accident, and I need good care, and air transportation, I will take the first available service that has trained personnel.

BTW, if you want another interesting way to look at this, look at the number of
accidents that ground based units have! You may never want to ride in a ground ambulance!
There's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that don't get reported. I'm not going to bring it up here. If others want to that's fine. I don't want this to end up as an off topc thread that gets locked.
 

iamhere300

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
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Messages
1,293
Location
Chappell Hill TX
First off, of course it does not mean that there will be a bird in Pauls Valley at that
time. Just as it does not mean that all the birds in any other location may or may
not be tied up also. Thats common sense. Everyone has that issue, every public
safety agency in the world. AirEvac may send a bird from another location, but
they advise the ETA of that bird. Your telecommunicator should be checking
alternative ETA's if that is the case. (and before we start on ETA's - don't even
bring them up without VERIFIABLE facts)

Insofar as 2 versus 1, I again suggest you contact the FAA. Ask them about how
many times this even comes up.

The last part about lots of things "behind the scenes" I would offer that is true
for every company, agency, group, pack, gaggle, and flock out there. No
company has a lock on it, and for anyone to alude to it is unprofessional at
the least. Lets deal with facts.

I again say, they have been a godsend here, and in many rural areas, but
YMMV.

CommShrek said:
Just because there's a crash near Pauls Valley and you call Airevac Lifeteam to come pick up the patient because you know there's a helicopter in Pauls Valley, DOES NOT mean that they won't send you a helicopter from McAlester or Claremore.

I'd like to humbly disagree with you about this statement. Lose power in a single engine helicopter and you are gong down, right where it happens. Lose power in a twin engine and the pilot says a few choice words and finds himself a spot to land immediately per SOP. FLIGHT CAN STILL BE MAINTAINED ON ONE ENGINE SIR. So what's the FAA going to tell me again? :)



There's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that don't get reported. I'm not going to bring it up here. If others want to that's fine. I don't want this to end up as an off topc thread that gets locked.
 

CommShrek

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
664
iamhere300 said:
First off, of course it does not mean that there will be a bird in Pauls Valley at that
time. Just as it does not mean that all the birds in any other location may or may
not be tied up also. Thats common sense. Everyone has that issue, every public
safety agency in the world. AirEvac may send a bird from another location, but
they advise the ETA of that bird. Your telecommunicator should be checking
alternative ETA's if that is the case. (and before we start on ETA's - don't even
bring them up without VERIFIABLE facts)

Insofar as 2 versus 1, I again suggest you contact the FAA. Ask them about how
many times this even comes up.

The last part about lots of things "behind the scenes" I would offer that is true
for every company, agency, group, pack, gaggle, and flock out there. No
company has a lock on it, and for anyone to alude to it is unprofessional at
the least. Lets deal with facts.

I again say, they have been a godsend here, and in many rural areas, but
YMMV.
They've been known to lie about ETA's to keep from losing a call. It happened to me, I was on a scene where it happened and it doesn't get much more verifiable than that.

Why do I need to contact the FAA sir? Didn't I just tell you how it was? If the engine issue comes up once there might not be a second chance, but whatever. It's your life. Do what you want. Go ride in thier POS, saltwater corroded, former Gulf of Mexico region, oil rig hoping, worn out aircraft. That's your business.

That's nice that your fire department wants to use that helicopter service. Good for you and I'm sure all of your patients will thank you. Or not. But whatever. Obviously if you have no alternative and you think they are a "godsend" then that's fine.

I'm not here to change your mind. I'm only here to tell you that I think Airevac Lifeteam sucks. I've always thought they sucked. My on scene experience with them has sucked...MORE than once. Now that's it.

The VoIP comms sounds crappy too. Some kind of wierd squealing noise here on the Tulsa tower when I'm listening. <----had to throw that in there to make sure the post stayed on topic. :)
 
Last edited:

WX5JCH

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
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Messages
935
Location
Elk City, Oklahoma
All I can say having AirEvac here in Elk City has saved many lives. I'm speaking with 11 years as EMS manager for Sinor's. I was a medivac in nam so, I know how hard it is to keep these helicopters running. I don't know what the ratio is for the Jet Rangers but the Huey's were about 8 to 1 for hours in the air.

We appreciate you guys and now our patients dont have to take that 2 hour ambulance ride to the nearest Trauma center.

With our new hospital coming online soon, we hope to become the "hub" of Trauma for the area, were going from 6 beds in our Er to 16. Hope we can be certified as at least a level 2 by then.

You guys stay safe up there!

Jim
 

CommShrek

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
664
iamhere300 said:
And the name of your department is?
I'd be ashamed to say. No need to come on here and name them any more than I named your department. :) The majority of the department I volunteer for is backwards hilljacks. I am not very active with them at this time. As in, I still have my gear, but I'm not responding to much. I've already tried turning my stuff in but was asked not to. I'll leave it at that.
 

iamhere300

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
1,293
Location
Chappell Hill TX
nd5y said:
I don't think it connects the sites together, just the sites back to their comunications center.
Their system here in Mineral Wells sucks.
They run their VoIP link on a control station radio which has about 1.5 second hang time when the dispacther unkeys (not the repeater hang time) and probably a delay time before the dispatcher starts hearing the repeater audio. As a result the aircraft and dispatchers are always doubling with eachother and usually don't even realize it. The repeater receiver also gets hammered by some digital paging base station all the time. Sometimes it sounds like they have very little radio training, just like the VFDs that they try to talk to for LZ info.
The "hang time" is probably the result of a level going into the tone termination
panel, and not a function of the radio.

You are correct, the sites re connected back to West Plains Dispatch. Orginally it
was a frame relay "cloud" but they have gone to internet connections
at some sites.

The two guys who maintain the system (Both ex employees of mine) are run ragged
as they build it out further, and maintain what is there.
 
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