MedCenter Air - Hurricane Season 2017

real-aviation

#1

Originally published at: http://www.mudspike.com/medcenter-air-hurricane-season-2017/

This hurricane season has not been kind to Central America, the Gulf of Mexico region, or the Caribbean. MedCenter Air crews, along with hundreds of other flight and medical crews from across the United States and the Caribbean, have been pitching in to help aid with the recovery of those areas touched by the hurricanes.…


#2

Excellent write-up! Very interesting to get an insiders view. The amount of logistics confusion and the challenges are often lost on us. Thank you for the additional effort (and for being part of the response)!


#3

I haven’t finished it yet but I am cheating so that I can be a “first responder”! Great read so far, Beach. Having flown at least one of those very airplanes with that very paint job, I would be proud to say that I can relate. But I can’t. I have never worked in such wartime-like conditions. You, your flight nurses and mechanics really earned your pride.


#4

Indeed. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to set up an ever larger disaster response when communications are so limited. I mean, we take for granted being able to pick up our cell phone and have instant communications. Dialing through the satellite (Iridium) is a bit cumbersome, and the communications has some pauses and the connectivity isn’t perfect. I guess the handsets and the time per minute are also limiting factors. The inability to even do something like Google Map directions or a distance or learn something about an area is tremendously limiting compared to what we are used to. I don’t really have an opinion (personal or otherwise) on the disaster response in Puerto Rico vs. anywhere else because the scope and distance from the mainland are something that I think my unprecedented. Comparisons are difficult.

It was definitely the most interesting couple of weeks I’ve had at MedCenter Air. If you combined all of that with also being shot at…ugh…I can’t imagine the stress level. Which makes me even more in awe of the combat type medics and dust-offs that land under ridiculous conditions and risk their lives in a very direct way to help people. They will always have my utmost respect.


#5

I can only applaud the people that make their life a mean to help others.
Thank you so very much for doing this, @BeachAV8R.

Also, as usual, amazing write up. :smiley:


#6

Nice shout out to your MX people! :wink: I can only imagine the headache trying to keep that fleet operational so far from the FBO under those conditions. Do you know if they did any prep work beforehand?


#7

They did - they did a 50/30 (50 hr / 30 day) inspection just hours before it left for Week 1. We were also a bit lucky in that one of the FEMA receiving facilities was Columbia, SC (KCAE) only about a 90 minute drive south of Charlotte. So when the aircraft swung through CAE to deliver patients, we were able to bring supplies down and swap out LOX orbs. (Our planes use liquid oxygen orbs to supply O2 for patients - sometimes finding filling stations for those can be difficult). After the first week, another 50/30 inspection was done down in St. Pete by flying one of our maintenance guys down there, and he also brought a built up tire assembly because one of our tires was starting to show a bit of cord - so he swapped that out too. Just a fantastic job coupled with a bit of luck that we had no major maintenance items. :+1:


#8

I finally found time to read the article.
Thanks for writing it, @BeachAV8R!
I sometimes dream of being part of a mission oriented outfit like that. Hard, yes, but it must be very satisfying as well.
Congratulations on a job well done!


#9

Excellent write up! Always nice to see some of the good that comes from such disasters. Really makes me miss being at the pointy end of the aviation spear performing missions like that instead of slogging it out at a repair station.