April 13, 2018:
German air ambulance operator DRF Luftrettung performed more than 2,300 night missions in 2017, and anticipates another year of high night vision goggle usage for its operations.
Having pioneered night HEMS operations using non-military NVGs in Germany in 2009, DRF utilises high-tech goggles, digital glass cockpits and sophisticated autopilot systems on aircraft such as the H145 to complete its rescue missions. The H145 has favourable engine performance, a sophisticated stabilisation system and a Fenestron protected tail rotor.
Chairman Peter Huber comments: “Emergencies do not keep to office hours. If a person's life is at risk after a heart attack or a severe car accident, every second counts, whether it is day or night. We are making a key contribution in this sector and we are well equipped and prepared for night rescue flights with professional, highly experienced medical and flight personnel using the latest technology,” adds Huber. “Our pilots have extensive experience with instrument night flying and the use of night vision devices.”
Since it was founded in 1973, DRF has flown more than 800,000 missions, 38,509 of which were carried out last year alone. It operates 31 HEMS bases across Germany and Austria, has an operations centre in Karlsruhe, and employs 629 emergency doctors, 120 paramedics and 160 pilots.