NTSB Probes Medevac Crash
The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is calling for a "rolling safety stand down" of medevac aircraft operations after the tragic collision of two medical airlift helicopters near a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday. Initial reports indicated seven people had died but six people died and one woman, a nurse, survived the crash of two Bell 207 helicopters operated by Air Methods and Classic Helicopters as they tried to land on the same helipad at the Flagstaff hospital. "AAMS is recommending an industry 'rolling' safety stand down to focus the attention of the air medical crew on safety while continuing the ability to provide life saving services to their local communities," said an AAMS news release. The accident has also caught the attention of the NTSB, whose chairman, Mark Rosenker, says he's "very concerned" that this was the tenth accident involving medical airlift aircraft this year.
"We are going to try very hard to make sure we understand exactly what happened here, determine the probable cause and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again," Rosenker told The New York Times. Rosenker said the NTSB is worried about the safety record of medevac services and will take action. "We are very concerned about that," Mr. Rosenker said.
Watch for an exclusive podcast interview with Chris Eastlee of AAMS, coming this Friday to AVweb!