3 Dead in Calif. Medevac Crash - @ JEMS.com


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 ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >