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Weekend of EMS crashes in Arizona

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The A-star that is stationed at the Prescott Love field was called out on a motorcycle accident near Ashfork, Arizona. Upon landing, something happened and they crashed. Still under investigation. 3 people aboard injured, but survived.




(That link won't take you direct to the article, go to archive in the top right and type in helicopter and it will come up)



Then today, two EMS ships crashed mid-air near the hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona. 7 People killed and 3 critically injured. All the info that is available now.





Here is another article with some additional info on who was operating and the locations.




Sad day! Best wishes for the families and friends of those involved.

Edited by PTKodiak
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Sometimes it is hard to realize the risk in what we do, but then again somebody has to do it. I hope something will be learned from this catastrophe.

I wish I could really express how much this tragedy has touched me.


I wish the best for family and friends of those that were lost.

May they rest in peace.

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The mid-air collision from Sunday has been changed to 6 dead and 4 critically injured. One of the flight nurses aboard survived and is in critical condition. Amazing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he/she makes it!


On one of the news broadcasts, they were talking about the first accident again. According to that broadcast, sounds like it was a brown-out condition when they came in to land and they lost control on set down. Dynamic rollover sounds like.

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I fly out of Prescott and I saw the helicopter on its side in a maintenance hangar from an office building, it's definitely totaled.

I also got a chance to speak with the mechanic that happened to be in there and he said as far as he knew it was brown out that caused it and they just lost control in their hover.


Helicopter looked pretty jacked from where I was at, doubt it will ever be flying again.

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It seems as well there were some company employees at the hospital visiting the victims in the first accident and they witnessed the mid air accident. Scary.


My heart goes out to the families and friends. This has been a very difficult year for the industry.

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It seems as well there were some company employees at the hospital visiting the victims in the first accident and they witnessed the mid air accident. Scary.


My heart goes out to the families and friends. This has been a very difficult year for the industry.



I heard that as well today. When I read this post last night I realized I knew a MICN nurse in that county. Wasnt sure if he was on board or nearby....it really hits home when you think you might know the people involved.


As I said in my last EMS post " EMS needs to change the way they do business before the FAA changes it for them. If you dont believe me, just read 136 of the FAR's."


My prayers to the families in these 3 incidents...just horrible to think of. The one critical injured is just a miracle of survival..



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  • 3 weeks later...

A little more insight into what happened. 2 midairs in 1 year- lets think about our scanning procedures and blind spots everyone. Stay Safe.




Copters aware of each other prior to Ariz. collision

By Jeffrey Leib

The Denver Post


Pilots and dispatchers for two medical helicopters that collided near Flagstaff Medical Center in Arizona on June 29 knew both aircraft were approaching the facility at roughly the same time, according to a federal air-safety report issued today.


The crash killed five crew members and two patients.


A dispatch coordinator responsible for flights into the medical center's helipad told the Air Methods Corp. pilot that the other craft was en route, and he responded, "Roger, will be looking for 'em, thanks," according to the preliminary accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board.


Air Methods is based in Englewood near Centennial Airport and is the nation's largest provider of air medical services.


The company provided the pilot and maintenance for the Bell 407 helicopter involved in the accident, which was owned by the Flagstaff Medical Center. Its call sign was "Angel 1."


The other helicopter, also a Bell 407, was bringing a patient from a Grand Canyon National Park Service helibase to Flagstaff. It was operated by Classic Helicopter Services of Page, Ariz.


Weather at the time was partly cloudy, with light and variable winds, the safety agency said.


The Air Methods copter was bringing a patient from Winslow, Ariz., to the hospital, but the pilot told his dispatcher, Guardian Air dispatch, that he might stop first at Flagstaff's airport to drop off a crew member because he "was not sure if he would be at the proper weight to land," the NTSB report said.


Guardian Air dispatch acts as well as overall dispatch coordinator for all flights into the Flagstaff hospital helipad, according to the NTSB.


The NTSB report shows that Classic's dispatcher contacted Guardian at 3:23 p.m. to report that the Classic copter, call sign "Lifeguard 2," was heading to Flagstaff.


In the next 24 minutes leading up to the collision, no other radio communication is cited by the NTSB between Lifeguard 2, or its dispatcher, and Guardian Air.


The Air Methods pilot landed at Flagstaff airport to drop off a flight nurse and told the dispatcher at 3:44 p.m., "If you haven't figured it out, we've uh landed at the ... (Flagstaff) airport, departed and we're about two minutes out of the hospital," the report said.


Three minutes later, the two helicopters collided about one-quarter mile from the hospital helipad.


The NTSB said a surveillance camera, mounted on a parking garage at the hospital, captured the crash, showing one helicopter approaching from the north and the other from the south. It also showed both falling to the ground after the collision.


NTSB accident investigator-in-charge Aaron Sauer said officials still are piecing together a precise, complete timeline of communications.


When helicopters fly into Flagstaff Medical Center, pilots are supposed to monitor the Guardian Air dispatch radio frequency, Sauer said.


Investigators are examining "paint transfers" on portions of the wreckage of both helicopters to try to pinpoint where they struck each other and whether the pilots were trying to make last-second evasive maneuvers to avoid the accident, Sauer said.


Officials also are conducting "visibility studies" to determine whether the pilots might have had "blind spots" as they tried to watch out for the other aircraft.


There were no recorded communications between the two pilots, the NTSB said. The two aircraft did not have cockpit voice recorders or flight data recorders, according to Sauer.

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