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When Is It Ok To Be A Cowboy?


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So this has come up a couple of times.... putting out burning buildings with Bambi buckets and rescuing people in EC120's with their heads hanging outo and whatnot....

 

There seems to be a wide range of opinion on how strictly the CAR's need to be followed. Judgment calls are made....reality needs to kick in.....but the CARs are there for a reason.

 

Is it ok to ignore the CARs to "do the right thing"?

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IMO, being a cowboy means being reckless. There is no room in aviation for being reckless. However, using one's judgement to rescue someone, put out a fire, etc while knowingly breaking the rules merits discussion.

 

Consider the following scenario. You are on a regular contract in a northern community and flew an average, but full duty day and got to bed at, say 10:30 PM. At 12:30 AM the phone rings and you are asked to do a medevac (not related to the contract) for a seriously injured person who was attacked by a grizzely bear. It is still light out, cause you are so far north and summer is approaching. The weather is generally VFR / MVFR and the distance is well within your fuel range. Do you break CARs duty day and rest requirements to save this person's life? And once the patient is on board do you allow the nurses and patient to fly unseated and without seatbelts on so the patient can be stabilized?

 

Is it reckless?

 

Is it the right thing to do?

 

Anyone from TC care to comment?

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About 15 years ago, I asked a similar question of an Transport Canada official.. I was given an unofficial opinion.

 

If all goes well and it becomes an enforcement issue then there would likely be a violation filed and some sort of consequence. He did mention a similar circumstance in which a the pilot was given a 14 day licence suspension that conveniently occurred during the pilot's scheduled vacation.

 

The true warning came with the second point - if something goes wrong; you can expect your world to fall apart. There will likely be no insurance coverage, you will be held persoanlly liable for all damages and the TC violations will be the least of your problems.

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The true warning came with the second point - if something goes wrong; you can expect your world to fall apart. There will likely be no insurance coverage, you will be held persoanlly liable for all damages and the TC violations will be the least of your problems.

 

And I guess that becomes part of the "judgment". Should things go south, are you ready to deal with the fall-out.

 

 

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Guest 1cloud

Great topic regret nothing. When it comes to critical human life the answer is often yes there is no piece of paper that can overwrite the gut when comes to critical helicopter support in remote and particular moments of life. However I do have a few rules that I govern myself with, in regards to judgement.

1.Can the job be done safely without harm to people or property

2.Is there a better trained pilot available

3.Is the helicopter suited for the mission

4.Have I been in this situation before and how will I react in a emergency

5.Are my skills sufficient to do the job flying in weather, HETS ,ect

6.Do I know the area is it my back yard...?

7.If I was almost dead, would I come and attempt a rescue

8.Did the ops manager or chief pilot give me the thumb’s up

 

In the words of a past employer “Are you a Helicopter Pilot “or WTF

Just my 2 cents,

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IMO, being a cowboy means being reckless. There is no room in aviation for being reckless. However, using one's judgement to rescue someone, put out a fire, etc while knowingly breaking the rules merits discussion.

 

Consider the following scenario. You are on a regular contract in a northern community and flew an average, but full duty day and got to bed at, say 10:30 PM. At 12:30 AM the phone rings and you are asked to do a medevac (not related to the contract) for a seriously injured person who was attacked by a grizzely bear. It is still light out, cause you are so far north and summer is approaching. The weather is generally VFR / MVFR and the distance is well within your fuel range. Do you break CARs duty day and rest requirements to save this person's life? And once the patient is on board do you allow the nurses and patient to fly unseated and without seatbelts on so the patient can be stabilized?

 

Is it reckless?

 

Is it the right thing to do?

 

Anyone from TC care to comment?

 

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