Careflight Service Affected By Heat

RENO, NV - When you hear the sound of helicopter blades running, you know help is coming.

There are 4 Careflight Helicopters which service Northern Nevada in transporting patients to local hospitals.

“It's very rewarding to fly EMS,” says Art Vano, Careflight's Lead Pilot.

Careflight Pilots do pre-flight checks while the helicopter is on the ground, looking for things that could pose a flight problem and they can control.

But during the summer months, there is one thing they can't control--the heat.

You can see it rise from the ground in the Truckee Meadows, especially as the temperatures surpass the century mark.

And as far as the helicopter is concerned if it gets too hot, it can't fly.

“Today is very hot yes it is, its limitation, at this elevation 105 degrees.

During intense heat there's less oxygen in the air to power the engines and there's fewer molecules present to lift the helicopter from the ground.

When the temperatures reach 105, it won't automatically shut the Careflight system down.

The call will be made on a case by case basis.

The system will look if other Careflight helicopters are available in neighboring towns where the temperatures are not as high.

The temperatures where the patient is located will also be taken into consideration.

Careflight pilots keep their eye on the thermometer during Northern Nevada's heat wave to see if it reaches 105.

During the winter months its not as much of a concern.

Winter temperatures need to reach 140 degrees below zero before Careflight cannot take off.

A check with Careflight late Tuesday afternoon, service was not declines due to temperatures.

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