Weather is important to all pilots but it can become critical when someone's life is on the line.
They're called in on some of the most serious accidents, and medical helicopters are a staple throughout the country.
Air Care Five is stationed at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.
The choppers can also be vital for many mountain locations where travel to a hospital would take too long, and when minutes count.
Steve Black is an Air Care Pilot, and explains how much time is saved with helicopter transport, "We can often take an hour drive and turn it into a 15 minute flight. And that gives a lot of more critically injured patients a better fighting chance to live"
When flying a medical helicopter, the safety of the flight is just as important as the safety of the patient, but the number one factor that can determined whether this flight takes off or not is the weather.
"Weather is a big part of what we do, it plays a big role of whether we can take a flight or if we can't," said Black.
This doesn't mean that Air Care can't take off in fog or rain, but there are limits.
Weather is checked before every flight and once it is determined safe, then the flight can take off.
That is not the end of the weather check though; many times conditions above the ground are very different.
"Obviously weather reports don't tell the whole story. There are plenty of occasions where we'll get up there and see something that wasn't reported and having to turn around," said Black
The Air Care team closely monitors the weather, not just in house but also at their operational control center.
With safety in mind, if anyone in the flight crew doesn't feel the weather is safe enough to fly, then they don't take off.
"Weather plays a big part in that decision making process," said Black.
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