I wish I had a quarter every time this has happened in the two decades I've done this job...
"Weather check for P-Ville, please... it's a scene flight."
I check closely 'cause I drove through schmutz coming to work.
"Yeah, I can do P-Ville."
"Okay, you're on standby for an MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) on Interstate ## just North of P-Ville."
We all dash to the John as a precaution, then wait for the phone to ring again, which will either cancel us or force us to push the "pause" button on the TIVO.
And we wait.
And we wait some more.
My Paramedic says "this is taking too long, we're not goin' anywhere" just as the phone rings...
"Your flight is a GO."
We quickly move to the aircraft, get both engines started and take off. We've just gotten high enough to see above the treeline when Dispatch crackles over the radio...
"Your flight is cancelled."
I make one circuit of the traffic pattern and land.
Bein' cancelled is aggravating for several reasons.
I'ts expensive... starting the aircraft is the hardest thing you can do to it. I just shocked and expanded some pretty exotic metals within two combustion chambers, waking two engines and bringing them from ambient temperature to 700 degrees centigrade in just a few seconds. There are limits on the number of times you can do that before you have to throw out the old exotic metal and buy new exotic metal. $$$$$!
Starting the engines costs money. I just did it for no revenue.
Over the intercom to my crew I wonder out loud...
"Okay, how long do you think it'll be before we are called for a flight to the hospital at P-Ville?"
Scene flights are cancelled for several reasons...
-Upon arrival at the scene, the ground crew finds everyone is okay.
-The patient(s) is/are DRT, (Dead Right There. We don't use the helicopter to transport corpses.)
-Our ETA is excessive. Sometimes it's quicker to transport the patient to the closest hospital for evaluation where the decision may be made to call us again. This happens OFTEN!
An hour passes. The phone rings. I pick up the receiver and don't even give our dispatcher a chance to speak...
"Lemme guess... we're goin' to P-Ville for the victim of an MVA."
And my dispatcher laughs out loud.
I guess there's comfort in things that never change.