Home Latest News Potential Dangers of Excessive Heat for Helicopter Safety and Emergency Missions

Potential Dangers of Excessive Heat for Helicopter Safety and Emergency Missions

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Potential Dangers of Excessive Heat for Helicopter Safety and Emergency Missions

Extreme heat caused by climate change is affecting the way emergency responder pilots in California carry out their missions. Helicopter operations, which are crucial for rescues in national parks, have been hampered by high temperatures, leading to declined rescue calls and the inability to fly when temperatures exceed 120 degrees. The rise in temperatures is impacting the ability of helicopter pilots to maneuver safely and efficiently, as the heat affects engine power and the overall performance of the aircraft.

The challenge of operating medical helicopters in extreme heat was exemplified by a recent incident in Death Valley, where a helicopter was unable to respond to a rescue due to the hot weather. The impact of high temperatures on helicopter operations is not only limited to rescue missions but also affects other medical transports and emergency calls. As temperatures continue to rise, pilots like Douglas Evans foresee more difficulties in performing their duties and foresee having to decline flights, which he describes as the most challenging aspect of the job.

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