A Winch Review in action

Dan Hoare

Winch mission are amongst the most complex of aeromedical rescues conducted.  Providing exceptional critical care in the remote or coastal environments will often involve winching.  In the past 18 months, the Toll Ambulance Rescue Helicopter Service have completed over 200 winch missions and a critical element of these is the post mission winch review.

From an operator perspective, the winch review process commences from the conclusion of the mission.  The aircrewman is responsible for collating all the related information and inputting data in the pre-set winch review form submitted to the Chief Aircrewman for review and comment.  Once reviewed, contact with the crew will be initiated as appropriate to gauge further information if required.  For the majority of missions this is where the process ends, however, if a major learning point is identified then a notification will be sent to all crews with extended information following via the in house training system.

Concurrently, NSW Ambulance conduct a monthly winch mission review with a random selection of missions reviewed by senior ambulance staff and operator management.  NSW Ambulance monthly winch mission reviews will include the viewing of footage capture from the aircraft.

The insights from both of these reviews ensure adherence to standards and company SOP’s, it provides the opportunity for a holistic crew debrief, the ability to build training scenarios based on lessons learnt and a level of insight that directly influences desired training outcomes.  Overtime, the ability to observe and understand situations such as conical spin and swing events, and the influences under which they occur, is a further benefit of the winch review process.

The presenters will be able to talk through each stage of each organisations winch review, share actual aircraft vision and mission details, alongside the valuable insights into lessons learnt from several completed winch missions.


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