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DC Aviation expands medical assistance to fleet

February 9, 2012, 09:42 am

DC Aviation recently expanded its in-flight medical assistance service to the entire fleet. The 24-hour medical program provides telehealth support using a satellite phone to help guide crews and passengers through a medical emergency while in the air.

In the event of a medical emergency on the plane, a medical evaluation must be made on the affected person. Based on the situation and conditions, the company can then offer support and suggest what measures should be taken to help the individual and land the plane safely. The goal of the program is to increase safety and medical support on the flight through a remote consulting service while working to avoid unnecessary and expensive stops throughout a flight. If a passenger falls ill but can be treated on the plane, then the aircraft does not need to land, but the crew can merely take the necessary steps to help the individual, CharterX reported.

DC Aviation offers basic first-aid kits on its planes, as well as fully trained cabin personnel who are able to use defibrillators and other emergency medical equipment stored on the aircrafts. This way, crews in the skies are ready for emergencies, and will be supported by a medical team on the ground in case of a more serious event, the source reported.

Aeronautical innovators at NASA are also working to improve the aviation industry, specifically with regards to safety and efficiency. The team is working to build more fuel-efficient aircrafts as well as find alternative fuel sources. Last year, NASA innovators and engineers developed various forms of biofuels from chicken fat and beef tallow. Early results of the experiments showed a 90 percent reduction in particulate emissions when in idle, and a 50 percent reduction during takeoff thrust. The biofuels could improve air quality around airports as well as reduce carbon emissions throughout flights.

NASA researchers have also developed a tool that continually analyzes flight trajectories and weather conditions, then uses this data to make suggested course corrections for pilots to avoid inclement weather. The goal of this tool is to help reduce the number of flight disruptions experienced on aircrafts at cruising altitude caused bad weather. These disruptions account for 70 percent of all air traffic delays each year.

The NASA aviation community is working to promote and enhance aviation education throughout the country. The community is funding scholarships for aspiring aeronautical engineers and awarding contracts to university laboratories for further research projects through the NASA research announcements. Through these programs, students can spend summers working under NASA researchers to gain first-hand experience working on the latest innovations in the aviation industry.

With all the advancements in efficiency and safety, it is still important for pilots to invest in pilot insurance to protect against mechanical problems or other incidences in the skies.

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