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

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Baltimore Man Rescued from Building Collapse

Rowhouse collapse traps a worker in the basement area.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

A Night with Wisconsin’s Busiest Medic Unit

Ride along one night with the paramedics of MED 5.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Dies in West Virginia Ambulance Rollover

Marion County Rescue Squad crew is injured in collision.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rescue Volunteers in Syria

White Helmets group at work during fighting.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Boulder Pins Colorado Hiker

Wilderness EMS team frees trapped hiker.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

North Dakota Oilfield Medics

Tactics used in offshore platforms tailored to the remote areas.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


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 >


More Product Videos >