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14 November 2008

[Federal Register: November 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 221)]
[Page 67564-67565]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Federal Aviation Administration

[Docket No: FAA-2008-1208]

 Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operations

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of and requests 
comments on revisions to Operations Specification A021, pertaining to 
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations, and Operation 
Specification A050, pertaining to Helicopter Night Vision Goggle 
Operations (HNVGO).

DATES: We must receive your comments by December 15, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number FAA-2008-
1208 using the following method:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http:// and follow the on-line instructions for sending 
your comments electronically.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions regarding the 
A021 and A050 Operations Specifications revisions, contact: Larry 
Buehler, 135 Air Carrier Operations Branch, AFS-250, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone (202) 267-8166; e-mail For legal 
questions concerning this notice, contact: Dean Griffith, FAA Office of 
the Chief Counsel, AGC-220, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, 
DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; e-mail


Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to comment on the revised Operations 
Specification A021, pertaining to HEMS operations, and Operation 
Specification A050, pertaining to HNVGO by sending written data, views, 
or arguments. You should include the Federal docket number FAA-2008-
1208 in your comments. We will consider all communications received by 
the closing date for comments.

Availability of Document

    The revised Operations Specifications A021 (HEMS) and A050 (HNVGO) 
can be found and downloaded from the Internet at the following sites:
     FAA Web site:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http:// and search for the documents using the Federal 
docket number FAA-2008-1208.


    The FAA has determined that safety in air commerce and the public 
interest requires additional hazard mitigation for HEMS operations, and 
therefore has revised Operations Specifications A021 and A050 pursuant 
to 14 CFR 119.51.
    The A021 revisions specify that if a flight, or sequence of 
flights, includes a part 135 segment then all visual flight rules (VFR) 
segments of the flight must be conducted within the weather minimums 
and minimum safe cruise altitude determined in pre-flight planning. 
Specifically, A021 requires pilots to identify a minimum safe cruise 
altitude during pre-flight planning by identifying and documenting 
obstructions and terrain along the planned flight path. HEMS pilots 
must also determine the minimum required ceiling and visibility to 
conduct the flight using the revised weather minimums contained in 
    Revised Operations Specification A021 also permits HEMS instrument 
flight rules (IFR) operations at landing areas without weather 
reporting if an approved weather reporting source is located within 15 
nautical miles of the landing area or if an area forecast is available.
    Revised Operations Specification A050 changes weather minimums for 
HNVGO conducted in Class G Airspace to be consistent with changes made 
to the Class G Airspace minimums in A021.
    The full text of the changes to Operations Specifications A021 and 
A050 are available on the FAA Web site and on http:// as discussed above.

[[Page 67565]]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2008.
Greg Kirkland,
Air Transportation Division, Acting Manager AFS-200.
 [FR Doc. E8-27137 Filed 11-13-08; 8:45 am]