The FAA is intending to propose new rules for civilian use of small drone aircraft in January, paving the way for police departments, fire departments, farmers, hospitals, and utility companies to legally operate their own robotic aircraft.
UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), also known popularly as “drones,” are most recognized for their crucial role in the war in Afghanistan, where they assisted in scouting out Taliban hideouts with less risk to U.S. soldiers. They were also used extensively in the second war in Iraq.
Now, American farmers are looking to the future of the small flying aircraft to aid in spraying their crops, as farmers in a few other countries have been doing for years. Meanwhile, American utility companies are apparently interested in using the technology to remotely monitor oil, gas, and water pipelines.
Police in Jacksonville, Florida are currently investigating a strange incident that occurred at the University of North Florida yesterday. Apparently, an unnamed person fell from a building that was under construction on the campus.
When we hear of a traumatic fall at a university – particularly on a Saturday – our minds typically go straight to collegiate late-night drinking, partying, and poor judgment. It’s no secret: many college students have become trauma patients simply by mixing heights and alcohol. However, this incident wasn’t the result of late-night construction site exploration. The mysterious fall happened in the middle of a rather bright, beautiful day in Jacksonville; the sun still ascending in the East.
As reported by the the Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville paper, it was just before 11 in the morning when local fire rescue workers received the call that a man had fallen on the construction site.
If you’ve been keeping up with the blog here at Air Ambulance Weekly for a while, you’re most likely familiar with the saga of air ambulance operators in England and their seemingly uphill struggle against numerous fraudulent companies impersonating their charity operations.
Well, things have changed. Finally, after many months, some positive air ambulance news has emerged from our friendly neighbors across the pond.
Scammers, scam no more: the High Court of Justice (think Supreme Court but with more powdered wigs) has come down hard on the three primary companies – all closely connected – who were not only defrauding air ambulance companies and siphoning off the middling funds they rely upon, but were exploiting the selflessness of well-intentioned people by posing as air ambulance charities.
Aviation Concepts, a jet management and charter company headquartered in Guam (not to be confused with Aviation Concepts Inc., a South Florida aviation parts and distribution company) has reportedly halted its membership-based “CareJet” air ambulance service to the Mariana Islands.
For some background, the Mariana Islands are a U.S.-controlled archipelago formed by a chain of volcanic mountains in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, just East of the deepest point on earth, the Mariana Trench.
Like many geographical regions composed of relatively isolated islands, air ambulance services are especially useful for transporting critical-care patients to advanced healthcare facilities.
AC had offered a subscription program which provided low-cost air ambulance coverage for residents of the Islands. However, it was discontinued when not enough residents of the Marianas signed up for the coverage.
We at AAW don’t usually report on political matters (other than, say, that shutdown of the FAA a few short months ago), but, as you can tell from the blog title, this particular current event has a unique twist that ties it to the air ambulance world. Claire McCaskill, the senior senator from Missouri (D), has finally sold a private plane co-owned by her, her husband, and their friends following a recent political quagmire centered around the plane.
McCaskill and her husband had reportedly failed to pay Missouri’s notorious personal property tax on the plane (which, technically, is registered in Delaware), drawing strong criticism from political opponents. In addition, a government audit showed that the Senator used the plane for over 90 reimbursed official and political business flights between Washington D.C., St. Louis, and other sites in Missouri.