kaju

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About kaju

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  1.   1000ft is the normal lower limit for flights over urban areas, 500ft for countryside, both in the EU, but also in the USA and Australia. But this does not apply to Police or rescue helicopter flights, which can effectively fly at any height required.   It seems that it is common that a rescue helicopter will generally fly using pre-programmed GPS to a location near enough to the hospital or whatever, to a location where the pilot can then actually see the pad or be in the vicinity of it. If it's not visible then the flight must go elsewhere. I understand that these combined flight paths and the separate elements that compose them must normally be pre-approved by local air traffic control, even when beneath controlled airspace.   I suspect this flight used GPS to get to Munich, then for visual flight purposes simply continued down the Isar (a nice easy thing to see) and then looped over to the Klinik, as their base is on the southwest corner of that - so they don't need to fly directly over the Klinik itself, and can come in low over Perlacher Forst, just prior to landing. I expect this is a standard, approved flightpath for them - it looks pretty efficient to me, but then I'm not affected by the noise. Formerly living in Perth, Western Australia we had a big lake very near. In bushfire season, many helicopters would refill there, including a massive skycrane (now that is a noisy helicopter), all genuinely at treetop level - windows shaking etc!   Apparently in the USA, rescue flights over urban areas are usually at 250-500ft with 200ft being the specified lowest flight level, except when landing and taking off, naturally - depending sometimes on the height of the landing pad of course.  https://www.airmedandrescue.com/latest/long-read/instrument-flight-rules-operations-hems   Naturally they must get lower than that as they come in to land. I don't think any helicopter pilot would want to fly to a hospital or anywhere else, and then routinely descend vertically very far when they could avoid it - helicopters are safer when going forward, both mechanically and for purposes of seeing where they are going.
  2.   I'm truly out of touch with Munich although I used to live in Thalkirchen, I'm in Austria nowadays, although a move to Bremen is likely pretty soon.   Don't know why they fly low but I could guess it will be flight rules relating to other aircraft that keep them reasonably low. As I write there's a small light aircraft at 3500ft over Kreuz München-Nord, coming from the Austrian Alps, no idea where it's going, but I’d guess to Flugplatz Schleißheim. I imagine it’s been allocated a safe flight level, maybe helicopters are often going under that height for separation purposes ...but I have no idea really! If the rescue helicopters are landing locally then they will be low, as they will likely be descending slowly (smoothly) and coming straight in.   I can't give you specific aircraft information, although if you want to check aircraft details live, which generally show route, aircraft owner etc, I use flightradar.24.   I’m guessing there has been an increase in private flights over the last few years, here: https://www.flugplatz-schleissheim.de/ (especially outside winter) but also more rescue flights. Each Bundesland contracts out helicopter rescue and mostly ADAC has won the contracts. The rescue helicopters nowadays are bigger so as well as medevac and rescue flights they can also be used to transfer intensive care patients (the quicker the better, of course) This was less of an option some years ago. In addition, there are still 12 rescue bases scattered throughout Germany operated by the Interior Ministry.   Talking about that airfield, it’s also already a base for Federal Police helicopters and if not already will be a permanent home for the new Bavarian Police helicopters too, apparently. I think there are 3 of those in Munich, not sure. So they may be going in and out already...   DRF helicopter rescues from Munich (Großhadern) have increased by about 20% over the last 10 years : https://organisation.drf-luftrettung.de/de/zahlen-und-fakten    The ADAC seems to operate out of Harlaching. The München Klinik in Bogenhausen has better than one rescue flight arrival per day averaged over the year too, they have the biggest emergency care department in Munich, but of course people will be taken to whichever hospital they need, etc.    So red and yellow helicopters are rescue, blue and white is the police. I think the interior ministry rescue units may be orange.   15 Rescue helicopters in Bavaria, 6 in Upper Bavaria: https://www.merkur.de/bayern/rettungshubschrauber-oberbayern-anzahl-einsaetze-landung-standorte-ausstattung-90093076.html doing maybe 20,000 missions a year! https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/muenchen-harlaching-rettungshubschrauber-geschichte-1.4831486
  3.   There were two at the same time about an hour ago, one was an ADAC rescue unit, the other was an Interior Ministry rescue helicopter coming up from the Allgaü, both straight to the Schwabinger hospital. Fortunately there are many more rescue helicopters nowadays, so more people have a chance to survive their injuries - when it's serious of course they need to go to major hospitals.    Police helicopters have also increased in number and size, Bavarian Police are in the process of introducing 8 new 4.5 tonne all-purpose choppers (big!) that can take a contingent of special forces but also even do alpine night rescues (can carry up to six injured!), firefighting and more. About a third of flights are to look for missing persons.