NC Aviation Law Attorney

NTSB Faults Pilot For Deadly Helicopter Crash In Maryland

In its final report released earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board stated pilot error was probably the cause of the helicopter crash on South Mountain on July 23, 2009. 

Four people were killed when the helicopter went down on the flight from Hagerstown to Frederick.  The NTSB says the pilot used poor judgment when he chose to make the flight on the dark night in adverse weather conditions even after talking with a fellow employee at Advanced Helicopter Concepts.   

The report states the helicopter took off after the Hagerstown air traffic control tower closed and entered an area of reduced visibility near the top of South Mountain.  It is thought it turned around and was headed back west when it hit power lines and crashed and burst into flames. 

This helicopter crash is a perfect example of how on board recording devices would help investigators know exactly what was decided in the cockpit.

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Posted by 1:22 pm

Preliminary Report Released On Deadly Medical Helicopter Crash

The NTSB’s preliminary report on the medical helicopter crash which killed three people in Arkansas includes a witness statement of hearing an explosion before the aircraft went down.  The witness also reported hearing the sound of crushing metal, then seeing the helicopter turn left – then right before it disappeared. 

As reported earlier on this site, on August 31, an AirEvac Lifeteam helicopter based in Vilonia, Arkansas, crashed killing all three crew members on board.  According to CNN, the helicopter was en route to an accident in Crabtree, Arkansas when it crashed.

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Posted by 1:46 pm

Medical Helicopter Crash In Arkansas – 2nd In As Many Months

An Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 helicopter en route to pick up a traffic accident victim crashed about 4:30 this morning in Scotland, Arkansas about 80 miles north of Little Rock killing all three crew members on board.

 The pilot was flying under visual flight rules and the helicopter was equipped with night vision gear.  It is not thought the pilot was in touch with air traffic controllers at the time of the crash and no distress calls were made.

 Investigators from the FAA and the NTSB are on their way to the crash site.

 According to BNO News, the crew was based in Vilonia, Arkansas.  AirEvac, based in West Plains, Mo. is the largest independently owned and operated membership-supported air medical service in the U.S. having operations in 14 states.

Air Evac has had several deadly crashes in the last four years killing 9 crew members, reports the Associated Press.  In 2008, a crash in Indiana killed three people.  In 2007, another three-member crew died when their AirEvac helicopter crashed in Alabama. In 2006, a crash in northwest Arkansas killed the three crew members on that Air Evac helicopter.  Last month, an AirEvac helicopter was force to land after the aircraft’s hydraulics failed – no on was injured in this mishap.

The Med Vac crash last month: On July 28, the pilot, flight nurse, and paramedic were killed when their Air Methods LifeNet medical helicopter AS350 B3 Eurocopter crashed in Tucson, AZ.   Although the cause of the crash is not known, a witness said the helicopter’s rotors stopped working and it started plummeting toward the ground.

The crash is being investigated.

With a strong background in helicopters as a pilot, maintenance officer and maintenance test pilot, and a strong background in litigation all over the world against the largest corporate defendants, Crouse Law Offices has the experience and knowledge to know how to succeed and how to win your case.  Please call us at 1-919-861-0500 or contact us by using our online form.

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Posted by 12:21 pm

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In Maryland Medical Helicopter Crash

The husband of a medical technician killed when a Maryland State Police helicopter crashed in September 2008 has filed a $7 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government. 

In March, relatives of the paramedic on board filed a $15 million lawsuit.  A personal injury claim for $50 million was filed by the  lone survivor of the crash only to have the FAA deny the claim. 

The helicopter was en route from a traffic accident to a hospital when it was diverted to Andrews Air Force Base because of bad weather.  The pilot had trouble with the foggy weather as he was trying to land and radioed for help twice before crashing 3 miles from the base.  His calls for help were never answered by the air traffic controllers.

The lawsuit claims “negligence” on the part of the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers. 

Four of the five on board were killed including one of the traffic accident victims. 

 Helicopter Wrongful Death

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Posted by 10:10 am

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