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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Silence on Sweltering Medics


Despite repeated requests, CHC Helicopters will not comment on reports that Australian air medics flying in CHC aircraft are suffering from heat stroke. According to The Daily Telegraph newspaper (Australia), "Air ambulance helicopter crews are collapsing with heat exhaustion on rescue flights because temperatures in the non-air-conditioned cabins sometimes hit 50C [122F]... The extreme heat has caused crew to vomit mid-air requiring injections and medication." Rotor & Wing sought comments from both CHC’s global headquarters in Canada and its Australian subsidiary, without success. The most the company would do is to direct us to the New South Wales Ambulance Service, which also did not answer repeated requests for an interview. Australia is in the middle of its summer season, and is currently fighting widespread wildfires with numerous casualties.

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