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The Massachusetts State Police were able to locate and retrieve a woman who had become lost while hiking in Western Massachusetts on 10 October, with the use of a police helicopter and its thermal imaging camera.

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Many oil rigs and gas platforms are far from shore and transporting workers and equipment by air or sea over these distances carries inherent risks. Taissa Csáky looks at some recent developments in the provision of civilian SAR in this challenging setting

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Rotary

On 8 October, Queensland Government Air personnel attended to an incident on Mount Cook, as senior pilot Mark Hempton reports

The Massachusetts State Police were able to locate and retrieve a woman who had become lost while hiking in Western Massachusetts on 10 October, with the use of a police helicopter and its thermal imaging camera.

Fixed wing

LifeTeam, a critical care ground and air transport company, has announced a new partnership with St Catherine Hospital in Kansas to begin operations of a new air medical transport base, wherein LifeTeam will provide a King Air C90 turboprop based at the nearby Garden City Airport

Jet Logistics Inc., based in North Carolina, announced recently it had secured US Government and Federal Aviation Administration Op-Specs approval for the outbound transport of patients from Cuba for purposes of emergency (non-elective) medical evacuations

Equipment

Helidosa, the largest helicopter operator in the Dominican Republic, has adopted night vision technology for ‘improved safety and mission readiness’.

Military/coast guard

On 19 October, the US Coast Guard Station at Port Aransas, Texas, received a call from a woman who had been sailing with her boyfriend, letting them know that he had entered the water to retrieve the vessel’s detached front bow hatch cover and drifted away.

The UK Royal Navy has announced that Merlin helicopters from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose are joining RFA Argus to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

Medical crew

The Welsh Government is to create a ‘flying doctors’ service for Wales – the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Cymru, a new clinical emergency service to stabilise and transfer the most critically ill and injured patients to hospital by road and air.

Pilots

On 7 October, Michael Lowery was found guilty of murdering his wife, Air Evac Lifeteam pilot Amber Lowery.

Aerial firefighting

A DynCorp International pilot killed while battling a fire in Yosemite National Park under a contract with CAL FIRE has been identified as Geoffrey ‘Craig’ Hunt.