Helicopter Rescue Missions Need Better Risk Analysis, Says Australian Goverment

Risk management is advisable in any industry, but it is absolutely crucial in sectors where human lives are on the line—such as helicopter rescues. Helicopter emergency operations are inherently dangerous, but are often the only option in remote or hard-to-access environments. Operations can involve  ‘winch rescues’, in which a paramedic travels with the patient, wrapping their arms and legs around their charge, or rappelling down from the craft to the emergency below.

Unfortunately, in Australia there have been a series of fatal injuries associated with these kinds of operations—according to  an article in Aviation Today, In 2013, a man died after falling 98 feet as he was being winched aboard a rescue helicopter, and in 2011 a paramedic died during a winching accident in New South Wales. These events have led the Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to propose that helicopter rescue operators use pre-flight risk-analysis procedures, with the aim that these will enable risk mitigation strategies prior to embarking on winching and rappelling rescue missions.

Aviation Today goes on to mention how “helicopter operations are becoming more complex and diverse, particularly sling load operations, and current civil aviation orders do not adequately address the many and varied situations, particularly in or near populous areas where the overall risk of the operation is potentially very high.”

Risk analysis software, such as @RISK, could help address these serious issues by presenting the best risk management strategies through the integration of Monte Carlo simulation with the latest solving technologies.

Read original Aviation Today article here

See also: Decision trees and the rescue of the Chilean miners


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