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Mercy Air Crash


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Sad news to report....


As I work toward my PPL I have had the pleasure of meeting the Mercy Air crews here at my local airport KVCV and have made some great friends. Last night a Mercy Air Bell 412 went down near my home and all 3 on board were killed.


God bless the crew and the families of these fallen heroes.



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CAJON PASS: The air ambulance, flying through fog, goes down in a rural area and catches fire.


10:00 PM PST on Sunday, December 10, 2006



The Press-Enterprise


HESPERIA - Three crew members with an air ambulance service died Sunday night when their helicopter crashed in fog in a hilly area and caught fire near the summit in the Cajon Pass, authorities said.


The Mercy Air Service Inc. helicopter had just left Loma Linda University Medical Center after dropping off a fall victim from Phelan and was headed back to its home base, the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, said Capt. Bret Raney of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.


There were power lines in the area. The crash occurred about 6 p.m.


Motorists driving along Interstate 15 called in reports of "an object falling from the sky and then an explosion," Raney said.


One female and two males were onboard, Raney said.


Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene.


The last fatal crash involving a Mercy Air flight was in August 2002, where three crew members died after leaving Nevada and crossing into California, said Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods Corp., the parent company for Mercy Air.


The site of Sunday night's crash was a little more than a mile east of I-15, north of Highway 138 and south of the Oak Hills area listed in fire guides.


It is a rural area with dirt roads, no streetlights and residents living on parcels of at least 2 ½ acres.


There were no power outages and freeway traffic was unaffected, officials said.


Lyn Solay and her husband, Joe, who live near the crash site, were watching television when they heard a noise overhead that she said sounded like a plane in trouble. They ran to a sliding-glass door and saw a large explosion with lots of smoke and sparks that quickly died down.


Fire officials said the crash ignited a half to three-quarters of an acre of brush.


It had rained in the area Saturday night.


Lyn Solay said her husband, a retired electrical engineer, took fire trucks to the scene of the crash, getting within about 50 feet.


The wreckage was so crumpled that they could not make out that it was a helicopter, she said. The couple has lived in the area for 11 years.


The helicopter belongs to Mercy Air Service Inc., a subsidiary of Air Methods Corp.

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Now this really hits home. Although I only knew Paul Latour for a short time he always welcomed me at the Mercy Air helipad as if I was part of the crew and was always willing to pass on his knowledge to an eager new pilot. Attached are few pictures I took with Paul and the Mercy Air B412 at the end of October, God Bless Paul and the entire Mercy Air Crew and their families, they will be sorely missed.


Killed in the crash were pilot Paul G. Latour, 46, and paramedic Jerry W. Miller, 40, both of Apple Valley; and nurse Katrina J. Kifh, 42, of Marino Valley, said Craig Yale, the company's vice president of corporate development.


Latour was an Army veteran who had more than 18 years of experience flying a rotorcraft, Yale said.







Please post any thoughts and prayers for the family as I intend to deliver a copy of this post to the Mercy Air Crew in hopes to have it delivered to the families.


Thanks in advance for any kind words.

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It has been somber here around Rialto (L67) where the maintenence hanger for Mercy Air is, very sad indeed. Makes me think about my loved ones and ponder for a little while..... Very Sad Day and week, my prayers go out to the family's and everyone involved.

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