You are returning to your hospital at 3:30 in the morning, with a crew and critical patient on board. As the patient's condition deteriorates, so does the weather around you. Although your forecast was for good weather, it was wrong.
You consider your options...
You can descend and slow down, and try to "scud run" into the hospital - but you know from NEMSPA's Enroute Decision Point efforts that this option often ends badly. You can turn around and go back to the referring hospital (maybe) , or divert to another hospital or airport, or you can land right there...
Or maybe, in the near future you will have another option. Maybe you will be able to contact ATC and get clearance to complete the flight under instrument flight rules in your IFR equipped single-engine helicopter...
You can read an industry white paper on this topic by clicking here.
"The Associations’ position is that it is natural for the Part 27 single-engine rotorcraft community
to want to have IFR capability and be IFR current – if it is affordable. Most helicopter
operations are commercial, and being limited by weather prevents the rotorcraft from being
consistently employed. Contracted services currently pressure operators into “pushing” the
weather situation. The situation is especially difficult for EMS and public operations where it is
known lives are in the balance with the weather decision. The Associations feel it is the FAA’s
duty to the rotorcraft industry to provide a practical option for IFR conditions other than “don’t fly” – especially when that practical option previously existed. Once Part 27 single-engine IFR
becomes viable, it will be demanded by hospital organizations as a condition of EMS contracts -
much in the way IFR capability is a demanded today for twin engine rotorcraft in EMS. The
safety, liability concerns, and expanded usability will produce the demand."
Thanks Rex Alexander for pointing this out to us...