According to a recent article by Tom Wilemon from The Tennessean, it’s a common procedure in Tennessee for medical helicopters without air conditioning systems to fly critically-ill patients to their destinations, despite all ground ambulances in the state being required to have functional air conditioning systems installed.
Chris Yoder, a 24-year old mechanical engineer from North Carolina, suffered an apparent heat stroke during the Bonnaroo indie music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. He was transported to a Chattanooga-area hospital by air ambulance, where he passed away hours later. Evidence shows that the helicopter that transported him to the hospital was, possibly, not equipped with air conditioning.
His passing has opened up a debate on whether or not air ambulances in Tennessee should be mandated to have climate control systems installed. If the proposed new mandate passes, any existing air ambulances without A/C could be required to upgrade in order to continue operations in the state.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our great friend Dr. Omar Pasalodos, the High Risk OB Medical Director for Air Medical Charters. Tuesday, while traveling on business in the Dominican Republic, he passed away unexpectedly. His presence in our lives will be greatly missed.
Friends of Dr. Pasalodos say he was amazingly generous, very funny, and “the nicest man you could ever meet.” The parents of the thousands of children he helped deliver over the past decades are eternally grateful to him, and many have expressed their condolences and shared their personal memories of the extraordinary man who was “not only a great doctor, but a kind and funny person.”
Omar was born in Cuba on June 15, 1950. In 1960, he and his parents left Cuba on a small boat in the middle of the night to come to the United States. Once in the U.S., Omar went on to graduate from Palm Beach High School and then Florida Atlantic University. He earned his medical degree at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo.
Tipped off by a story from AVWeb, we discovered that the avionics company Rockwell Collins has pioneered the very first Head-Up Display (HUD) guidance system for light to mid-sized aircraft. Fixed-wing air ambulance operators and charter companies may want to take a look at this exciting upcoming technology.
The high-tech, self-contained system, which Rockwell Collins just unveiled at the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in San Diego, is called the HGS-3500. It is designed, like larger systems, to provide head-up guidance cues that enhance both the pilot’s situational awareness and the overall safety of the flight mission. The system has been scaled down in physical size to where it can potentially be installed in the smaller cockpits of turboprops and business jets, such as those commonly used by air ambulance companies.
Ed. note: The staff here at the Air Ambulance Weekly blog would like to point out in advance that we do not mean to be “picking on” air traffic controllers as of late – we are merely telling you about the current newsworthy events in the air medical industry that are being reported. The news media is currently watching closely and reporting heavily on air traffic control mishaps. In addition, the FAA is battling bad press and has been taking actions and enforcing new policies due to these incidents which affect everyone in all aspects of the aviation industry.
With the disclaimer out of the way, a lone air traffic controller at Reno-Tahoe International Airport fell asleep around 2am as an air ambulance carrying a patient tried to land on the runway. The pilot repeatedly tried to contact the tower for guidance. Receiving no response, he radioed a regional facility in Oakland, who tried to reach the sleeping controller.
FAA Finds 2nd Air Traffic Controller Made Bed in Tower, Slept as 4 Lifeguard Air Ambulances Tried to Land
The FAA recently discovered another case of an overworked air traffic controller falling asleep in the tower. This comes approximately two weeks after a controller at Reagan National Airport accidentally fell asleep on the overnight shift, leaving the tower silent, and also leaving 2 planes and 165 passengers to circle the runway and eventually land on their own. The controller in this case was actually a supervisor performing the duties of a controller, on his fourth consecutive overnight shift.
However, the newly discovered case at a Knoxville airport actually occurred before the Reagan incident. In this one, air traffic controller made headlines by fully preparing for his on-duty nap – falling asleep in a makeshift bed he had constructed out of couch cushions from the employee breakroom and a blanket.