Pegasus Ride Along Rules

Questions? Contact Us

Disclaimer: All scheduled applicants must thoroughly review this information before their observation shift.

Questions? Call Andrew Fletcher at 434.942.6005.

UVA Pegasus Flight Operations Location

Smith-Worrell Hanger Charlottesville Airport

3852 Dickerson Rd., Suite 200, Charlottesville, VA 22911

About the Ride-Along

Scheduling Issues

  • Shifts start at 7:45 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.
    • Due to the unpredictable frequency of calls, we’re unable to guarantee that you will return to the base by any certain time; plan accordingly
  • We only reschedule on rare occasions.
  • We don't reschedule no-shows who don't call. 
  • If you’re unable to fly, you’ll be allowed one rescheduling opportunity that will not count as an additional trip.

General Rules

  • While you can take photos during the flight, cell phones must be:
    • Off during takeoff/landing
    • In airplane mode during flight
    • Due to HIPPA restrictions, photography is prohibited once on scene and when a patient is in the aircraft.
  • For security reasons, riders are not allowed to stay in the hanger/quarters when the Pegasus medical crewmembers are not present.
  • You must have a driver’s license or official ID with you at all times.
  • No smoking permitted on UVA Health System Grounds.

    Tips for the Day

    • The crew anticipates questions and interaction; please feel free to address any concerns that arise.
    • Bring something to occupy your time during idle time while waiting on flights.
    • Prepare meals — we have a full kitchen, but no vending options. Eat breakfast: Flying on an empty stomach increases your chance of airsickness.
    • Objectives of the observer will be addressed during the shift, so please arrive prepared to discuss what you aim to learn with the medical crew/pilot (i.e., landing zone preparation, available equipment at UVA Pegasus disposal, understanding IFR vs. VFR, weather minimums, flight planning, etc.).

    What to Wear

    Professional dress is required (ex: black, blue or khaki pants and a solid-colored polo shirt). EMS, fire and law enforcement personnel can wear their uniforms. Jeans and scrubs are not acceptable attire.

    Please dress appropriately for the weather. It’s not uncommon to spend an extended period of time out in the elements.

    Boots are the best footwear, as well as shoes with a non-slip tread and adequate protection. Tennis shoes, sneakers, sandals, clogs or open- toe/open-back shoes are not allowed.

    All riders must wear the provided UVA Pegasus Ufly vest during all phases of patient transport.

    Medical Considerations

    While in the air, you may encounter turbulence, vibration, noise and extremes of hot and cold. If you have a medical condition that may make it hard for you to function in these conditions, please communicate these concerns to the ride-along coordinator. We reserve the right to request that Ufly candidates provide a physician letter granting medical clearance to participate in the program.

     Preparations the Night Before the Flight

    • Rest, as crew have the option to turn away applicants deemed unfit to fly for any reason (i.e., sick, lack of adequate rest).
    • Contact the pilot at 7 p.m. at 434.297.7082 to verify the weather permits an observation/ride-along.
    • Allow plenty of time to arrive promptly at the hanger by 7:45 a.m. to participate in the daily flight briefing.
    • Contact Andrew Fletcher at 434.942.6005 with any concerns arise you need addressed prior to your observation shift.

     Day of the Flight

    • Arrive promptly at 7:45 a.m. at our hanger
    • Park in approved location
    • Push buzzer twice (located in front of main gate) to notify crew of your arrival — they'll meet you at the gate

    Operational Safety

    • Flight briefing attendance is mandatory
    • The pilot may require you to weigh-in, if deemed necessary
    • Should weight require additional specialty teams, we'll escort you off the premises and reschedule your observation shift
    • Flight suit and helmet fitting occurs after briefing
    • Then we'll introduce you to the aircraft, demonstrating:
      • Safety harness use within the aircraft, as well as Latching and unlatching cabin doors Aircraft communications
      • Emergency exit procedure
      • Scene safety

    Tail Rotor Awareness A-109E

    • Open tail-rotor configuration
    • Observer should NEVER be past the horizontal stabilizers for any reason

    Tail Rotor Awareness EC-135

    • Closed tail rotor configuration (Fenestron) is still dangerous

    Observer should NEVER be past the horizontal stabilizers for any reason

    Safety Harness

    • 4-point restraint (must be worn during all phases of flight)
    • Lap belt secured tightly across pelvis followed by application of both shoulder harnesses

    Rotate face-plate to release harness

    Aircraft Communication Medical Cabin 

    • 3-position carter box
    • Open voice activated
    • Off
    • Pull-to-talk
    • Helmet connection
    • Volume control knob

    Aircraft Communication Co-Pilot Cabin

    • Helmet connection different from medical cabin; no carter box as seen in the picture
    • Intercom is always live-voice activated

    Co-Pilot Cabin Entry/Exit

    • To Close: place hand into handle and pull firmly towards you, once the door is firmly closed rotate the handle counter-clockwise, confirm by pushing on the frame of the door
    • To Open: place hand into handle and rotate clockwise assist the door open, don’t allow door to swing open by itself.
    • Emergency Egress: Should door jam shut, pull red handle and push outwards on window (all emergency information will be discussed in detail on the day you observe)

    Medical Cabin Exit

    • To Close: place hand into handle and pull firmly towards you, once the door is firmly closed rotate the handle clockwise, confirm by pushing on the frame of the door
    • To Open: place hand into handles and rotate counter-clockwise assist the door open and slide door toward the tail until locked open.
    • Emergency Egress: Should door jam shut, lift leather tab up and pull string around window frame pulling loose the stripping and push window out. (All emergency information will be discussed in detail on the day you observe)