3 Dead in Calif. Medevac Crash

 

 
 
 

| Monday, November 16, 2009


RENO, Nev. (AP) - Investigators said the pilot of a medical helicopter issued a mayday moments before the aircraft crashed into a hilly area north of Reno near the Nevada-California state line early Saturday.

All three crew members the pilot, flight nurse and paramedic were killed.

The helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350, had dropped off a patient at a Reno hospital and was returning to its base in Susanville, Calif., when it crashed around 2 a.m. Saturday, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

A witness driving on a nearby road told authorities he saw nothing unusual about the helicopter's flight before it fell rapidly from the sky. The witness said he saw a fireball when the helicopter hit the ground, according to Gregor.

Gregor said the pilot was not communicating with air traffic controllers at the time of the accident. Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board spent Saturday combing the wreckage about 29 miles northwest of Reno in Lassen County as they searched for clues about the cause of the crash.

The wreckage will be taken to a salvage yard Sunday.

The helicopter was operated by Mountain Lifeflight out of Susanville. The company confirmed the loss of all three crew members aboard the helicopter. Mountain Lifeflight issued a statement Saturday afternoon identifying the pilot as James Bradshaw, 39, the flight nurse as Clinton Reger, 40, and Christopher Ritz, 37, as the paramedic.

It was the second fatal crash of a Mountain Lifeflight helicopter returning to Susanville after dropping off a patient at Renown Medical Center in Reno.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a Eurocopter AS-350B operated by the company crashed into Honey Lake, about 11 miles southeast of the company's Susanville base, on March 21, 2002. NTSB investigators determined the pilot failed to maintain altitude and said the smooth surface of the water contributed to pilot disorientation.

The pilot died in the crash and two crew members were seriously injured.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Specialty Vehicles, Vehicle Operations

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >