In a recent UK story that is now receiving a lot of attention here in the States — a plane carrying a donor organ crashed and burst into flames while attempting to land on the tarmac at Birmingham International Airport in thick London-like fog.
The organ — a liver — was being carried from Belfast on board a small twin-engined Cessna 501 “Citation” which clipped an antenna as the pilot tried to land at the end of the obscured runway. According to witnesses, the plane partially missed the tarmac and caught on fire in mid-air, becoming a fireball as it hit the ground.
A pilot from an air ambulance helicopter nearby ran to the wreckage, bravely entered the burning wreckage and turned off the fuel line, with the 58-year old pilot and a crewmember in his 30′s trapped inside.
The Associated Press reported December 10th that the Federal Government’s trouble with keeping track of paperwork has led them to uncertainty as to the owners of about a third of all private and commercial airplanes currently in service. The FAA’s response to this problem is to cancel registration certificates over a three year period, requiring all airplane owners to start the registration process from the beginning.
All planes are required to have their registration or “N” numbers visible on the tail or fuselage, but the FAA fears the current state of their records could be exploited by criminals, terrorists, and drug traffickers. They also say better record-keeping in the future will make it easier to alert plane owners of new safety information, like airworthiness directives.
With the year 2011 almost here, it’s no surprise that many of the old spiral-bound pocketbooks — the ones medics have traditionally carried for years — now have mobile digital versions. But can these new digital guides replace their tried-and-true analog counterparts? This week, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of new medical field guides on the iPhone for EMS providers.
Just like the pocket reference books, the information in these apps is presented in short, pointed style, meant to cue an EMS provider into their training. Being digital, these apps also have quick keyword search capability — something you won’t find on a spiral-bound guide — and a bookmarking feature. You can even take notes down on pages just as you would with a paper guide.
During a response to a single-car rollover on Interstate 84 in Utah this week, a medical chopper made a “hard landing” and clipped a nearby street sign in the process.
In aviation terms, a hard landing is when an air vehicle touches the ground with greater force than in a normal landing. This can result in bouncing and rocking from side-to-side or front-to-back. Witnesses said the helicopter rose about 10 feet in the air and looked like it was about to tip over on its side during the landing.
The victim of the crash had rolled three times off the highway, hitting a tree, after falling asleep while driving and over-correcting with the steering wheel upon waking. The victim appeared to be injured seriously enough for the fast-responding firefighters to call in a medical helicopter transport from the nearby University of Utah Hospital.
Last Thurday, the FAA announced a proposal that would require photos on pilot certificates, as well as other higher-security measures.
It is a move that was ordered by the government in 2004, intended to guard against terrorists getting through airport security. One congressman who helped write the new law, Rep. John Mica (R – Fla), wrote a letter to the TSA, FAA, and Homeland Security Department demanding an explanation for their noncompliance with the law, citing that “It is absolutely astounding that DHS, TSA and FAA could, after six years to implement the act, still achieve such an incredible level of incompetence.”
Under the proposal, a brand new pilot certificate would be valid for eight years. At the end of eight years pilots would be required to get a new certificate and update their photo. If it is finalized, different pilots would have different deadlines to get one of the new enhanced certificates: