It’s a no brainer; the safety of air ambulance services is largely dependent on weather conditions. Poor visibility, gushing winds, thunderstorms and harsh weather can damage the aircraft, put lives at risk, and damage equipment. From a commercial standpoint, it affects the number of flights that air ambulance services can undertake. In an industry that is already stressed for profits and customer base, bad weather is simply dreadful, especially in the winter months. Heavy snow in parts of the country not only limits visibility, but also damages components. Snow is known to set in rotors and fuselage while in the helipads. The result is a severe limitation in lift, performance issues and high fuel consumption.
Air Ambulance Services in the United States
There are over 300 thousand medical flights that fly high in the sky each year. This is a big growth compared to just a few dozen that operated in the United States just about three decades ago. Therefore, the competition is pretty high and air ambulance services cannot afford a lot of idle time owing to weather conditions. Moreover, people suffer trauma and strokes regardless of the weather conditions. This puts a lot of pressure on air ambulance services. According to a survey conducted a couple of years ago, about 18 percent of all helicopter accidents are a result of bad weather conditions and the inability to gauge them.
Better Weather Forecasting Imperative
Real-time weather forecasting and weather information transmissions from those in the air already can be of great help. Seamless connectivity between weather departments and air ambulance services can go a long way in avoiding unnecessary risks. Aircrafts too must be equipped to handle sudden changes in weather. The crew must be well-trained to handle weather adversities. If such things are taken care of air ambulance services can be made much more efficient and safe.