Q. Does New Hanover hospital have a plan to prevent their helicopters from crashing into the residential neighborhood? Some of them fly in very low.
A. “New Hanover Regional Medical Center AirLink has an excellent safety record and follows strict guidelines to safely transport patients and minimize the disruption for neighbors of the hospital as much as possible,” said Erin Balzotti, a spokeswoman for the hospital. “AirLink helicopter crews follow Federal Aviation Administration policy on flight altitudes and NHRMC’s ‘Fly Neighborly Policy’ establishes guidelines for approach and departure routes that do not fly over neighborhoods when possible, except in the case of an emergency or for safety purposes. Pilots with Air Methods Corporation, an air medical transport company that owns and operates NHRMC AirLink helicopters, have a lot of experience. They are required to log a minimum of 2,000 hours of flight time before they are considered for a position as an air ambulance pilot. In addition, both NHRMC AirLink helicopters are equipped with advanced Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (HTAWS) that alert pilots to potential obstacles in the terrain.”
Date posted: February 12, 2013
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