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The FAA and Choppers

JEMS.com Editor's Note:Click here to read JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman's October From the Editor column, "Change Should Be in the Air"and Dr. Bryan E. Bledsoe's October column, "Houston We Have a Problem" on Medevac crashes.

FEDERICKSBURG, Va. -- In the last year, a dozen medical evacuation helicopters have crashed nationwide. Twenty-eight people have died. The latest was a chopper carrying a 1-year-old child to a Chicago hospital. The patient and three crewmembers died when the helicopter hit some radio-tower lines on Oct. 15.

Closer to home, on Sept. 28, a chopper went down in foggy weather in Maryland's Prince George's County after the pilot had radioed twice for help. Four of the five people on board died. A terrible mid-air collision near Flagstaff, Ariz., in June between two medical helicopters killed seven people, including two patients, two nurses, and a paramedic.

What's going on? Is this just a bad run or part of a trend? According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there were 14 medical helicopter crashes in 2007, resulting in 24 deaths and 13 in 2006, in which 10 people died.

Click here to read more.

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