Air ambulance pilot: Not for everyone

Air ambulance pilot: Not for everyone

Passion, dedication and the right attitude. With those three words, Rogelio Muñoz starts talking about his 42 years of experience as a pilot, of which 22 years as an air ambulance pilot with AirLink. Since he was a child, ‘Capi Roger’ was fascinated by the airplanes that flew over his hometown. That was the moment he knew that he wanted to be a pilot. In his adult life, he quickly found his way to the airport and to AirLink. Rogelio has flown for airlines and corporations, but his heart lies in flying air ambulances. He mentions that it’s a job that requires lots of passion and dedication, but at the same time, that it implies making sacrifices. An air ambulance pilot needs to be prepared and available 24/7, which sometimes means not attending personal or family activities. “It is not for everyone”, continuous Capi Roger.

What is the difference between an executive flight and an air ambulance?

“Flying executives or cargo is quite different than being a pilot onboard of an air ambulance. The goal is to take the patient as safe as possible to a better medical facility. As a team, we are all adding something to these important missions, that not only involve the medical part but also comfort and mental wellbeing of the patient and family members. We also transport many children and when possible and appropriate, I always try to cheer them up or make them feel comfortable.”

What do you need to become an air ambulance pilot?

“Apart from the regular education and training to become a pilot, there is not really any official and regulated programs in Mexico to become an air ambulance pilot. There is simply no specific course or career which is too bad as very specific skills and knowledge are required. This is why years ago I established a training program myself and every new pilot at AirLink, first has to take the training and prepare themselves to become a proper ambulance pilot.”

 

“Apart from the operational knowledge, I think the most important thing is to have the right attitude along with empathy, passion and dedication. There will be days that when the Christmas dinner starts, an emergency arises. I haven’t celebrated my birthday with my family for the last 20 years and you have to be OK with that. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it when seeing patients more calmly, sometimes even a smile and a hug after the mission. I simply love my job!”