314 – London Air Ambulance
Guests: Neil Jeffers, Adam Spink Host: Markus Voelter
Shownoter: Bastian Hundt
Earlier this year I visited the London Air Ambulance, a charity organization that flies two MD-902 helicopters over the UK’s capital. I chatted with their chief pilot Neil Jeffers about the flying and some of the medical aspects. My recorder then joined Neil on a short flight to their hangar at RAF Northolt. There, we met Adam Spink, a NATS air traffic controller at Heathrow, and the three of us chatted about the ATC perspective of flying helicopters (sometimes) in Heathrows’s approach.
If you want to donate to the charity, see this link.
Introduction of Neil Jeffers00:02:05
London Air Ambulance | Royal London Hospital | RAF Northolt | Major Trauma
The Helicopters and the History of London Air Ambulance00:04:35
Fire Grenfell | ADAC | Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe | Air Medical Service | AS-365 | MD-902 | NOTAR | Performance Class (PDF) | Glass Cockpit | Biggin Hill Airport | London Heliport | Trauma Center | Airbus Helicopters H135 | BO-105 | Airbus Helicopters H145 | Venturi Effect | Coandă Effect
Flying a NOTAR Helicopter00:20:40
Helicopter Flight Controls | Dutch Role | Airbus Helicopters H120 | JetRanger | Robinson R-44 | Visual Flight Rules | Instrument Flight Rules | Night Vision Device | Avionics | Traffic Avoidance System | Weather Radar
The Medical Side00:31:15
Major Trauma | Trauma Team | Air Traffic Control | HEMS | "Stay and play" | "Scoop and run" | General anaesthesia | Blood transfusion | Open Chest Surgery | Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta | European Aviation Safety Agency | Foreign object damage
Airspace in London00:52:10
M25 Motorway | Heathrow Airport | London City Airport | Biggin Hill Airport | Air Traffic Control Tower | Runway | London Helicopter Routes (PDF) | Flight Transponder
Training, Risks and the Crew00:57:20
Threat and Error Management | Checklist | Aircraft Flight Manual | Single Point of Failure | Go Around | Instrument Rating | Crew Resource Management | Multi Crew Coordination
Flight from Royal London Hospital to RAF Northolt01:17:55
In an abstract, I wonder a bit about the “frequent” need to go to Heathrow. I would assume that a place frequented as much as Heathrow has a well equipped medical centre, so the only need for a helicopter would be in extremely urgent cases, where a patient needs treatment in a special clinic. But maybe I underestimate the number of such incidents.
Hey, at about1:09 you talk about a person who paid for his own training as a h/c pilot. Even after five times listening I was not able to get the name. Who’s that?
Fascinating episode, I have seen the Air Ambulance fly near me a number of times for emergencies but they also landed in a local park to raise awareness and to encourage donations .so a very busy job. I wonder how many times a year they participate in such non-emergency flights. I hope I never need it – but they do great work!
Didn’t we talk about it in the podcast how often it happens? A few times a year?
Thank you for the very interesting episode. As a Londoner I support Air Ambulance but wasn’t aware they can perform open heart surgery on the side of the road!
Looking forward to hearing about Police helicopters next! ;-)
I really enjoyed this episode – the guests were confident enough to be relaxed and to handle even detailed questions very well. Very nice vibe. The last part got a bit off track, but I really did not mind- hearing about Heathrow ATC is fascinating in itself.
Excellent episode. I was in London a few days ago and I saw the air ambulance flying over and thought about the episode. Now I have a better appreciation of how they fly and their operations. I didn’t know that they are a charity, so thanks for pointing that out…it is surely a good cause to support.
Great Episode! Super relaxed Interview. Neil seems to be a great guy. Very informative and diverse in content as well.