flight positions - page 2

by UtErRnEmt 14,808 Views | 44 Comments

I'm curious. Where do you search for flight nurse positions? There are 3 services in my area but none are hiring for RN's at this time. Is there a web site with positions advertised? I have almost all the certifications i've been... Read More


  1. 0
    I wasn't making a aviation-to-auto comparison either. You said it was dangerous. I said the most dangerous part of the job was driving to work, so I'm actually only considering the driving of flight crews in relation to their job, not everyone else. Doesn't matter how many auto's are on the road; there are still only as many flight crew driving to their jobs as will be flying that day. Additionally, my reference is in relation to numbers of workers, meaning that there are many other occupations that experience a much higher fatality rate per hundred thousand workers.

    And, I'm correct. The most dangerous part is the drive.

    How do the FAA/NTSB reports support your claim when there are exponentially far more fixed-wing accidents on file than rotor? Additionally, how do they support you when the number of EMS rotor accidents resulting in injury is even smaller yet? Quite frankly, I haven't seen a good position to support the claim that anyone who flies long enough will encounter an accident.

    The majority of missions at the program incurred at least an hour of flight time per mission. Maybe the patient wasn't on board for an hour, but you have to fly to the patient, deliver them to the hospital, and return to base...sometimes stopping for fuel at another location. Flying is flying; the mere presence of a patient does not change whether or not time is counted.

    I just think it's disingenius to say that being a flight nurse is dangerous and say that the danger factor is raised by the mere fact someone is a flight nurse. It's speculation.

    As far as military flight nurses, the Army doesn't have a flight nurse program anymore, and the Air Force Reserve program uses C-17's (although I'm sure a few C-9's are being used to tote patients).

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just think it's silly to present helicopter EMS jobs as "dangerous." It is only as inherently dangerous as the participants are inherently stupid...that is not meant as an insult, but an aware crew will not be in any more danger than the commuter helo pilot who flies the same route every day from Teeterboro to Manhattan.
  2. 0
    The meat of my initial post:

    "Flying is dangerous business. Most of the time nothing out of the usual happens, but a dangerous situation WILL come about at some point if you fly long enough."

    Generally speaking, if you ask 100 pilots (not nurses), that have more than 5,000hrs flight time, who fly both airplanes and helicopters, I'm pretty sure that most *pilots* would quickly agree.

    I also said:

    "If you are a flight nurse in helicopters.. you can raise the danger factor up many more notches. Tail rotor strikes, tail rotor gearbox failure(s), are probably the number 1 reasons for downed helicopters, and put that on top of landing in unusual areas to pick up a patient, and you've just raised the risk factor 10 fold."

    Fact: Whether you're a flight nurse, patient, pilot, or fly on the ceiling of a helicopter, such IS more dangerous than being the same in a fixed wing aircraft. Its not being a "flight nurse" that defines the danger.. its the fact that you're in a helicopter as opposed to a fixed wing aircraft.

    I wrote:

    "The flight profile environment is also much more dangerous. Engrave that in granite I think the FAA and NTSB Accident/incident reports will back me up on that one."

    I think if you spent time chatting with the FAA, NTSB, and perused accident reports, I think you'll find that helicopter accidents/incidents are far more "aggravated" (mechanically/aerodynamically dramatic in nature) when compared to fixed wing counterparts. Furthermore, if you want additional data, contact any of the insurance companies (getting rate quotes for pilots/aircraft are a bit different than getting quotes for a car, best to write the insurance company(ies) for statistical data on what they consider dangerous and a heightened liability, etc., etc.. I think your eyebrow will raise..

    Fact: The general flight profile(s), complex aerodynamics and harmonics, and transitioning aerodynamics (ie. transitioning from slow flight to hover/Effective Translational Lift (ETL), makes flying (and or riding in) helicopters more complex and dangerous simply by those virtues alone when compared to fixed wing aircraft. I would be very surprised to hear an actual pilot who flys both, to state or believe otherwise. Helicopters generally are so much more complex (and inefficient I'll add). * These heightened dangers are present whether the helicopter is shuttling execs, or patients.
    From a pilot's viewpoint, there is SO much more going on, mechnically and aerodynamically with a helicopter compared to an airplane.

    As I said in my initial post, I say this from a pilot's view, and from my experiences in both fixed and helicopters (civilian & military). I assume (based on your post) that you're speaking from a nurse/passenger perspective which is cool, but I think from that perspective, you may not be aware of the many technical differences (and dangers) that differ between fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

    If you ARE a pilot... then your post just became 100x more confusing

    I yield to you the last word..

    Respectfully

    Teila

    Post: Most common topics when dealing with whirlybirds if you're interested in the aerodynamics.

    Dynamic Helicopter Aerodynamics !
  3. 0
    Yawn.

    All that to make an inaccurate generalization that flying is dangerous business.

    It's simply not true based on anything you've said. If you do anything long enough, including inherently safe activities, you can encounter a dangerous situation. The fact that you might encounter something dangerous if you do it long enough does not make it a "dangerous business." It makes it an occupation or pasttime where something dangerous can happen. You can experience this anywhere, including manufacturing and clerking a convenience store. You clerk a store long enough, you are going to get robbed. It doesn't make clerking a convenience store inherently "dangerous."

    Here's what's dangerous; swatting a hungry bear with a short stick. Running across a mine field. Forgetting to pay your date before dropping her off at Ponce De Leon. Those are dangerous...all likely resulting in bad outcomes.

    Flying rarely results in a bad outcome, including EMS flying.

    I wasn't going to even address the rest of your post because it's not really relevant, but I thought I'd point out that the majority of EMS crashes are pilot error (usually weather), and the reason helicopter insurance is higher is because a 1997 Honda costs $3500 to replace and a 1997 EC135 costs about $3-4 million.
    Last edit by Shamira Aizza on Nov 20, '06
  4. 0
    In regard to my insurance statement. I was encouraging you to write aircraft/pilot insurers so they could inform you the often large differences between fixed and rotary premiums.

    Aircraft insurance is directly tethered to the *dangers* and *complexities* of aircraft, their weights, typical flight profiles, even aircraft in the same "type", "catagory", as well as, but not limited to, pilot experience (actually a lot different than how auto insurance premiums are figured).

    My only reason for mentioning auto ins. was so you'd understand that you'd probablly have to write away for data vs. simply calling and getting a quote like you can with auto ins. (getting aviation quotes are more in-depth).

    I thought you'd surely understand that I didn't mean compare premiums between a motorcar and an aircraft.

    If you truly wish to actually learn something; Boeing (or any other aircraft manufacturer for that matter), the FAA, the NTSB, virtually ANY aviation insurer, the military (safty office and office of statistical data, Ft. Rucker, AL), and most dual rated pilots will relate to you that helicopters are inherently more dangerous to both fly, and fly in, compared to airplanes.

    1. Many job positions (to include many flight nurse slots) in the civilian sector receive "hazard" or "danger" pay.. People who are actually knowledgeable about aircraft and the associated complexities and hazards, don't have to wonder why its commonly called "hazard", "danger", etc., pay.

    (no offense to flight nurses, but typically a flight nurse knows very little about the totality of flight hazards associated with cruise and terrain or NOE flight compared to a rated pilot). The aircraft/hazard knowledge would be like comparing a Student Nurses Aid to a seasoned CRNA.

    2. Life insurance premiums are most often raised if you inform your insurer that you're a pilot. Because insurance companies consider it (flying) a "hazardous" occupation.

    3. I'd like to hear from a dual rated PILOT (not a nurse), Aviation Insurer, FAA designee, or even a Life Insurance Agent, to state that flying isn't considered "hazardous" ((chuckle)).

    I sincerely think you're equating your flight experience as a *nurse* and or passenger to that of an experienced pilot in both aircraft and helicopters, civilian and military... and I really don't think the former is as qualified to get as specific about the dangers of flight.. Specifically, the increased risks associated with piloting or simply flying in a helicopter. Simply put, most flight nurses are not well versed in aviation past their nursing duties...
    Its not a slap in the face to flight nurses, its just true. Just like most pilots don't have the skills of a nurse, even though they may have flown with nurses.

    I'm sure at least the original poster would be able to, at this point tell a difference..

    When you obtain your Commercial Instrument (license/rating) for fixed and rotary, a few thousand hours flight time (actually piloting the aircraft, as opposed to riding in it and or performing nursing duties), military and civilian flight experience as a pilot (not a nurse), and have been licensed for just under 20 years.. then get back to me about the dangers of flight..
  5. 0
    here is my 2 centavos:
    1. I'm a nurse, not a pilot, not an actuary.
    2. When it comes to aviation or medicine, apathy is dangerous.
    3. Crew resource management.
    4. Situational Awareness.
    5. Sterile Cockpit when appropriate.
    6. "Three to say GO, one to say NO."
    7. Weather minimums are relative.
    8. In HEMS, CFIT is the leading cause of catastrophic events.
    9. IFR, NVG, Dual Pilot AC are not safety panaceas. (includes 3,4 & 5)
    10. I FEEL safer working in a helicopter than I do flying as a passenger on a commercial airline.
    11. When I go to work and we brief, EVERYONE is on the same page.
    If I don't like the weather, there is a vibration I didn't feel before, there is a strange smell and no one will fess up, or a chip light flickers in a way I don't like:
    I have the authority(as does the medic) to abort the mission. <PERIOD>
  6. 0
    Quote from Rio
    here is my 2 centavos:
    1. I'm a nurse, not a pilot, not an actuary.
    2. When it comes to aviation or medicine, apathy is dangerous.
    3. Crew resource management.
    4. Situational Awareness.
    5. Sterile Cockpit when appropriate.
    6. "Three to say GO, one to say NO."
    7. Weather minimums are relative.
    8. In HEMS, CFIT is the leading cause of catastrophic events.
    9. IFR, NVG, Dual Pilot AC are not safety panaceas. (includes 3,4 & 5)
    10. I FEEL safer working in a helicopter than I do flying as a passenger on a commercial airline.
    11. When I go to work and we brief, EVERYONE is on the same page.
    If I don't like the weather, there is a vibration I didn't feel before, there is a strange smell and no one will fess up, or a chip light flickers in a way I don't like:
    I have the authority(as does the medic) to abort the mission. <PERIOD>
    Well said. There are more, but this is good, even though I think there is no shortage of folks who would argue until the next conference that they think IFR and NVG's are the answer to all that is safe in air medical EMS. I think they are good additions, but as of yet they really haven't been studied to prove their value.
  7. 0
    Look, you can label any issue in any way relative to it's comparison to something else, but it's disingenius. A '77 Pinto is more dangerous than a Lexus LS 430 with side impact airbags in a smashup derby, but the Pinto is more safe than a 5 hp gocart. I suppose that in general simply makes gocarts dangerous to ride...based solely on the comparisons and context of a smashup derby, right?

    I understand your position based on insurance, etc, but you are using the data from a for-profit agency to prop up a subjective statement (this is not a slam against for-profit activity, I am pro-capitalist). I, however, trust insurance companies far le$$ than I give them annually.

    Let's make this comparison; who do you think is engaging in a more dangerous occupation, an unarmed Army nurse on a 3 year assignment in Baghdad or an RN working in any hospital in any city in the USA...you pick the hospital.

    Now, I'm not a pilot, but I do know that it's simply not true that being a flight nurse is more dangerous than being any other kind of nurse. 2/3 of all hospitals are in areas with average or above average risk of violent crime activity. Additionally, about 2/3 of of the estimated 1,000 homicides and 1.5 million assaults which occur within a workplace happen in a health-care setting. Since the majority of helicopters are no longer based in these urban settings, it seems as though you've got a tough sell.

    You've got a lot of great numbers that are all correct to prove one point or another, but they don't support your claim that being a flight nurse is a dangerous activity for a nurse to pursue.

    I don't live in a bubble; I've got two siblings that are pilots. One is a rotor pilot and the other is an FAA District Safety Program Manager. I'm not even remotely as wise as them about aviation, but I've spent a bit of time living and flying and don't need an insurance company looking for a bigger premium to try and tell me that they've determined that in$urance premium based on some altruistic and objectively-obtained number which shows that flying is inherently dangerous.

    Until you can show me something which shows that becoming a flight nurse is somehow more dangerous than some other relevant activity, we'll simply disagree.
  8. 0
    Shamira and Teila, I can see both sides of the discussion. As a pilot (comm-instrument, airplane and helo) I do agree that flying is safer than driving. You are more likely to be injured or killed driving to work than you are while flying at work. Is it more dangerous than other types of work? Of course it "depends." Years ago I worked for a police agency and when I was assigned to the air unit, one of the guys tried to get us extra pay because of our "hazardous" occupation. THe union wouldn't even present it to the city council because the numbers didn't add up. Beat cops were far more likely to get injured on the job than pilots. I know in my own experience when I rode a beat I was injured an average of twice a year in the line of duty, and none of these were car wrecks. Now with 8 combined years in police helicopter flying I have yet to be injured at all.

    Are helicopters more hazardous than airplanes? Absolutely they are. For all the reasons that Teila mentions. Then you add the fact that EMS missions are flown under what is generally regarded as hazardous conditions, like landing in tight quarters in unimproved areas, sometimes at night, and weather is often a factor as well.

    I have had an inflight engine failure in both an airplane and a helicopter. With the airplane, the engine just quit, that's all it did, and it became a glider. I landed it safely on a road. With the helicopter, I wish the engine had "only" quit. My life would have been a lot easier. First, the front bearing in the compressor failed, which caused the compressor wheels to become uncontained. That's a nice way of saying that high speed metal fragments went flying in all directions, doing major damage to vital helicopter components. A very dear component, the driveshaft, was severed at the k-flex coupling, right below the compressor. The other end of the shaft was still attached to the transmission, and began flailing about making wicked and expensive sounding noises, not to mention causing a awful vibration that made the instruments impossible to read. Ever heard of autorotation? That's where when the engine fails you can lower collective and the blade pitch flattens out and allows the air coming up from below to turn the rotor at the right RPM which will allow the pilot to make a safe landing, if he does everything right. Well.........if things weren't complicated enough at this point, the autorotation thing was turning the transmission but in the design of the helicopter I was flying the tail rotor driveshaft doesn't run off the transmission. It runs off the engine gearbox. Now recall the severed driveshaft, it was not able to drive the engine gearbox, which meant that I lost the tail rotor. To spice up the already considerable fun and games, the flailing driveshaft was dragging down the rotor RPM, which caused an audible warning to come on, adding to the excitement. I managed to thread the eye of the needle in getting it into a really small area. Had I been any lower, I wouldn't have made it. Had I been any higher, there would have been less rotor RPM at the final pitch pull, as it was I pulled max collective to cushion the touch down. I can honestly say that I didn't do any more damage getting it down than the helicopter had already done to itself. Oddly, the loss of the tail rotor did not present a problem as the helicopter pointed itself straight during the final pitch pull, but it sure added some stress.

    I didn't mean to give such a long winded account of my experience, but it does illustrate that when things do go wrong in a helicopter, it can get dramatic in a hurry. In flying, dramatic means hazardous. In the big picture though, helicopters are quite safe, major failures are relatively rare. If I didn't think they were safe, I wouldn't be flying them still.

    BTW, Shamira, you said that NVGs haven't been studied to prove their value. I can assure you that in military and law enforcement flying, NVGs have proven to be a significant safety enhancement. I won't fly at night without it. I just wish the EMS community would buy into it more.
  9. 0
    I didn't say that NVG's aren't good additions, because they very well may be essential additions. However, no-one has conducted any kind of evaluation to see if EMS programs have statistically improved their safety with the addition of NVG's.

    I really don't know what point you were trying to make about your rotor story. Here's what I got; an engine quit on an airplane, and you landed without injury. An engine quit on a helicopter, and you landed without injury.

    Does this somehow support a claim that working as a flight nurse is somehow more dangerous? Is 'drama' statistically relevant to danger?

    I don't mean to be argumentative, I just think statements should be qualified and kept in perspective...that's all I'm doing.
  10. 0
    I know what you said about NVGs. The point I was trying to make about NVGs and EMS is that EMS, for whatever reason, has been slow to get the ball rolling with NVGs. I know a fair number of EMS pilots, in fact my NVG instructor is a full time EMS pilot and also flies in the National Guard. He is baffled as to why his employer specifically forbids NVGs even if he provided his own. In my discussions with him and other EMS pilots we have concluded that it is all about cost. A new pair of Gen 4 Anvis 9s costs 10 to 12K. That's when you can get them, as the present war in Iraq is consuming the production runs. Then they have to be maintained and then there's training and recurrency. As far as studies are concerned, there are enough studies from the military and LE to conclude NVGs are a safety enhancement. I am not personally aware of any specific EMS NVG study, but I will be sure to ask when we pilots get together again as a group. We have a helo convention coming up soon so I will have that opportunity.

    So you don't know what my point was with my "story." OK, let's take it a step at a time. The OP was asking about flight positions. By post #6, the question was asked about hazards and crashes and so on. That's fine, because posts tend to meander around a bit. Then you, Shamira, and Teiladay went back and forth about the relative safety of EMS flying, helicopters, fixed wing, insurance, being a flight nurse, being a pilot, and so on. My point was this: As a pilot speaking from the pilot perspective, I happen to agree with Teiladay that helicopters are inherently more dangerous to fly than fixed wing aircraft for reasons already expounded upon. I simply related a couple of my experiences to illustrate my position. As an experienced pilot in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft, with 26 years flying fixed wing and 12 years flying rotary wing, and a few thousand hours, I feel qualified to contribute an opinion. It is very much in perspective and in continuity with what has already been said. This a forum where people discuss ideas, vent, get information, pass along information, suggestions, and so forth. That is what I was doing. So sorry if we don't always agree, but that's just life. Too bad that flew (pun intended) right over your head.


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