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one company the boss said we park it below -40C............we said ok.....


next company i mentioned that and the BM said: "what, you wouldn't do a medivac at -42C?"


don't remember ever parking them at that company........


still...that's just tooo cold!!! :shock:

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Limits for me over the years.......before and after Janitrol Heaters.......has been -35F and down to -45 for serious Medovacs. Never had a problem with the cold and a good-working, well-maintained Janitrol Heater......UNLESS that Janitrol was asked to burn Jet-A. Then it would protest by coking-up the igniter and down you went u/s until that was cured.


If you have to spend a night with your passengers out in -40C/F temps and ALL are not dressed exactly properly for those temps, then somebody is going home in a body-bag or going to loose some digits.....and it's that simple. It been my experience also that many Unions and corporations now forbid their employees doing anything but light duties outside in temps past -35F.....and I agree totally. To me, if one has doubts as to whether they could survive overnight at a certain very low temps, then don't go. It's "your call" and you made a "command decision"....congratulations.....simple as that.

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As I mentioned in my earlier post, it depends on where you are and what you're doing. On a seismic job you're usually surrounded ('cause you're working on a grid) by people that can help you. Not the same deal when you're going cross country or working by yourself way out in the sticks. I always have my multi-fuel stove and sleeping bag etc, if I even think there's the slightest chance I may overnight in the Ice Hotel...


Of course if everyone's injured it makes it a whole lot harder to handle... but I don't think there's too much difference between -30 and -40 if you're lying on your side without your boots on trapped in the wreck... (back in 1989 an old veteran fixed wing guy I know told me always to wear the stuff you need to survive because "it's pretty hard to put your boots on with broken legs"... I always remember that).


As Cap said, "command decision"...


P.S. What are you doing up this late Cap?

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All else being equal I would say -40.

It all depends on the enviroment and the job at hand.

Are there other machines around?

A lot of times the customer is going to call it quits before you do!

Not a lot gets accomplished standing in the bush at -40 except a bunch of guys standing around the fire saying:"Tabernacle it's cold" Tractors and trucks don't work too well and survey equipement usually goes FUBAR shortly after being set up on the hilltop.


Everybody has to dress so that they can stand around for at least 24 hrs and survive. As Harmonic said make them wear it. A parka in the left baggage compartment is of little use if you roled it onto the left side. This is really important - good test if in doubt - make the guy stand outside for 10 minutes - if he complains he is not dressed right. Have your briefing include the phrase: "I'm not giving my Parka and mitts to anyone".


If you have to leave folks behind to carry the proper equipement so be it.

Make sure that ops are planned so that you will have lots of daylight left at your ETA - Night wood gathering / shelter constuction is an extreme sport!


On one survey / linecutting project we used to place a survival kit ( Tents / stove / food ect ect ) within walking distance of crews so they would be ok if you didn't come to pick them up. It was set up so we could sling it to a new location every 2- 3 days.


Shutting down for long periods away from camp is not as good idea. The boys might feel more comfortable with the helicopter beside them but best it doesn't start near an engineer and an APU rather than than 60 miles from camp surrounded by not much!


I'm being on jobs where if you didn't fly at -35 / -45 you would be grounded for weeks on end.

A lot of times at those temps it is clear with no wind but a -40 with a 25 knot wind will make you regret your career choice. Especialy refueling out of drums! Jet B AKA Liquid Cold.


Coldest I ever flew was -50 looking for a lost Helicopter east of Great Whale. That was cold. We found them all ok - They shut down the day before at an old camp and had a coffee and lunch - when they came out the helicopter wouldn't start. HF didn't work ect ect. Fortunately they were all experienced guys and it all worked out.


It is + 26C with gentle winds here in the Persian Gulf today! We're thinking of you!

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here's what you do, call SAR and tell them where you are working and ask for a best case/worst case scenario timeline for a rescue should something go wrong. Then call up workmans comp with that info with estimated tempuratures and the timelines SAR offered you and see if they recommend working in that environment.

Above all, dress for your working conditions and use your head, it may be all thats of use to you after a crash. At least you can think about how stupid you were pushing the elements as your crumpled mangled body freezes. The medevac comments show exactly why the US has so many accidents lately. pilots seem to be willing to push the envelope when they hear the word medevac. whos' the hero when you all die?

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The medevac comments show exactly why the US has so many accidents lately. pilots seem to be willing to push the envelope when they hear the word medevac. whos' the hero when you all die?



I don't think the "pushing the envelope" part of your post is fair PT. There is nothing inherently dangerous about flying down to -54 in a 212 for instance... that's the legal limit provided by the manufacturer. We give ourselves an extra "fudge factor" that is based on a careful assessment of the situation to minimize our exposure. If we set our own limit based on our experience, there is nothing wrong with using the rest of the envelope available when an emergency arises.


As for the accidents in the U.S., well they should be examined on a case by case basis. A lot of the ones I read about were IFR guys, in marginal (bad) weather, close to the ground, with very little bad weather VFR experience. I doubt they were trying to be heroes, they probably just got in over their head while trying to do their job.


Taking a guy with almost no bush experience, giving him an IFR rating and then asking him to go out and do medevacs in the country with wires and trees and hills and clouds all over the place seems like a bad idea to me. Yet, if you look at any of the Medevac Pilot jobs posted on the many sites, there is almost never a requirement for VFR time... just Total Time, Helicopter Time, Time on Type and Instrument Rating... And the requirements are pretty low to boot...




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my point was based on the comments above and taking that into account you can see where the line on everything becomes fuzzy. I'm glad your 212 can go to -54, other ships can't, people sure can't for extended periods of time.

Bottom line is limits are in place, and when you stretch them on a case by case scenario, you up the risk. As pilot in command you have that option to do the stretching, but you'd better be prepared on all fronts (legal and physical) just in case.

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