Eurocopter Search And Rescue Mission (SAR)

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On March 30, 2013, a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter crashed during a search and rescue mission (SAR) (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). Earlier that day an individual wrecked on a snowmobile near Talkeetna, and called the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS). The dispatcher who received the call tried to set up a local land rescue. However, no local troopers were on duty, and no locals with SAR experience were willing to take the mission due to the deteriorating weather conditions. Once the efforts to coordinate a land rescue fell through the dispatcher contacted the Alaska State Trooper SAR coordinator. Together they agreed to arrange an air SAR using the Alaska DPS SAR helicopter to retrieve the injured snowmobile rider (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). The SAR coordinator contacted the pilot for DPS around 2019. The pilot elected to check the weather …show more content…
He also held a flight instructor certificate for helicopters and single engine land planes (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). Records showed the pilot had logged over 10,000 flight hours, of which 8,452 hours were in helicopters (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). Based on the pilot’s log books and DPS records he had documented only 38.3 hours of instrumental flight in helicopters of which only 0.5 hours was actual instrument time (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). The most recent helicopter instrumental flight was logged in 1986 (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). Over 27 years prior to the Eurocopter accident. The pilot had flown over 3,000 hours for DPS prior to the accident. 1,738 hours were flown for SAR missions. The year prior to the accident the pilot flew 244 hours for DPS, of which, 239 hours were in the SAR helicopter (NTSB 911AA Eurocopter, 2014). Records did not indicate the use of night vision goggles (NVS’s) during flight. The pilot was certified under DPS manuals to use NVG’s based on training he received in December

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