NTSB: South Carolina Medevac Lacked Safety Features

 

 
 
 

| Friday, October 9, 2009


WASHINGTON

A medical helicopter that crashed in South Carolina last month, killing three crew members, lacked safety features recommended by experts, a federal official said Thursday.



National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson told The Washington Post for a story posted on its Web site that the helicopter did not have night-vision equipment or a system to warn the crew that it was flying too close to obstacles or the ground. The NTSB has urged medical helicopter programs to adopt each of those features, saying they could have prevented some accidents.



Neither a call nor e-mail placed by The Associated Press to Knudson was immediately returned.



The helicopter had just dropped off a patient at a Charleston hospital on Sept. 25 and was flying to Conway, about 90 miles to the northeast, when it crashed in Georgetown County.



NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt had said the helicopter had flown between two intense thunderstorms and it was raining when it crashed. He could not say if the conditions were a factor and no cause has been determined.



In addition, the weather station at the Georgetown County Airport was not working because of a lightning strike Sept. 4 "that completely fried the equipment" and was awaiting repairs, said Jamey Kempson, an airport engineer with the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission.



Prior to the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot last radioed air traffic control at 11:05 p.m., saying the crew was about four miles from an airport near Charleston and had it in sight. It crashed about 25 minutes later.



Crew members killed were pilot Patrick Walters, 45, of Murrells Inlet; flight nurse Diana Conner, 42, of Florence; and paramedic Randolph Claxton Dove, 39, of Bladenboro, N.C.




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

 
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

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

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


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

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


More Product Videos >