Getting to know HEMS pilot Roy

Posted by Michael Latimer on

What part of your job do you find most difficult?

Sometimes I have to take care of relatives whilst their family member is being rescued by our medical team. That's the hardest part for me because in this situation there is nothing I can do but wait and try to comfort the members as good as possible.

Are you two pilot or single pilot crew?

In the day shift I fly single pilot and during night shift we fly multi pilot.

Do you consider your flying dangerous? Or is it safer than other flying you have done?

I wouldn't consider it as dangerous but it is challenging. Especially during the night shift. We fly with night vision goggles looking for all the threats around the mission area like power lines or terrain.

What’s the shift patterns and time on and off like?

I usually have 4-6 days duty followed by 5-7 days off. My normal shift pattern consists of 1 period day shift and 2 periods of night shift.

What helicopter(s) do you fly in your role?

 I fly the H145 and sometimes the EC145.

What makes this heli so good for hems? Or if not, why?

In the black forest there's lots of small trails at which it’s not possible to drive with a car. At the accident site the helicopter can get much closer to the patient and get him to the nearest hospital within a sufficient time.

What’s the most interesting day you’ve had?

That's hard to say because every day is interesting. I remember a night shift where we had really bad weather with lots of snow showers and low visibility / ceiling, so our navigation to the hospital and fuel planning at night became really challenging.

How does it compare to previous jobs you’ve had and is it your favourite job?

It's my absolute dream job! Prior to my career as a HEMS pilot I flew in the German army. It was also very exciting because I flew the legendary HUEY. But flying HEMS is my absolute favourite!

If you didn’t fly hems, what helicopter job would you like to fly?

I’ve never thought about that. If I couldn’t fly HEMS it would probably try to become a medical doctor.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring hems pilots to get a job?

Be a good team player! Flying HEMS is not about the pilot only but the whole team. It’s always the combination of doctor, paramedic and the pilot to safe lives!


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