Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Night Goggles Help Avert Helicopter Crash in Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Night-vision goggles that are now a standard part of all Airlift Northwest helicopter equipment might have made the difference between a rough landing and a bad crash Tuesday morning when a pilot made an emergency landing in an open field in Stanwood, Wash.

The pilot and two nurses on board, who were on their way to pick up a patient at Jefferson Community Hospital in Port Townsend, were not injured.

The emergency landing was about six miles west of Interstate 5, around 6 a.m., and was caused by problems with the rotor blade, Airlift Northwest spokeswoman Mardie Rhodes said.

Airlift Northwest called for an organization-wide stand-down of its helicopters for safety inspections and to brief pilots on the incident. The agency transports about 4,500 patients each year.

In 2005, two of the company s helicopters crashed. One went down in the waters off Edmonds, killing three crewmembers. A month later, another Airlift Northwest helicopter crashed in Olympia, injuring a nurse.

As a result of those crashes, Airlift Northwest began implementing safety improvements, including upgrading equipment, enhancing pilot training and replacing the helicopter fleet. Providing night vision goggles was one of those changes.

Steve Lodwig, program aviation manager for Northwest Airlift in the helicopter division, said the pilot, James Campbell, told him the goggles helped to pick out a safe place to land in the early-morning darkness.

He said it was a great aid to him and paid great dividends, Lodwig said.

Campbell is a retired U.S. Army pilot and site manager for the Airlift Northwest facility at Arlington. He has been flying for the Seattle-based company for a couple of years.

The downed helicopter was an Augusta 109 that the company has recently added to its fleet.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

P-I reporter Kathy Mulady can be reached at 206-448-8029 or kathymulady@seattlepi.com

RELATED ARTICLES

Midwest Braces for Severe Weather

Oklahoma reels from tornadoes and flooding as more storms are predicted.

Plane Crashes onto Atlanta Interstate

Four people killed when small plane crashes onto interstate after takeoff.

Medics, Officers and FBI Agents save Runners in Philadelphia Race

Two runners suffer cardiac arrest during Broad Street run.

Video: Suicidal Driver Causes Crash on California Interstate

Driver struck a big-rig that hit a passenger van, that overturned.

Medical Services Chief Named to Lead Salt Lake City Fire Department

Deputy Chief Dale developed the department’s first automated, electronic patient care reporting system.

Storm Causes Several Injuries, Rescues in Oklahoma City Area

Fire and EMS crews responded to several incidents as severe weather strikes.

Features by Topic

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers