Concern Network California Program Loses Pilot in Crash
Overheated Engine Ends Washington Mission
Pilot Ron Jones was killed September 22 when the AStar 350 he was flying crashed in Butte Meadows, Calif. Enloe Flightcare (Chico, Calif.) responded to a scene that day, and the aircraft was in the process of landing at a designated helipad when a brownout occurred. The pilot lost visual cues, drifted to the right of the pad, and crashed into some trees. Flight nurse Stacey Reed was critically hurt, and nurse Mike Farris suffered serious injuries.
On August 20, Northwest Medstar’s (Spokane, Wash.) EC 135 was en route to a receiving hospital on an interfacility mission when the #1 engine oil temperature increased beyond the maximum. The pilot implemented the appropriate emergency procedures, shutting down the troubled engine. The pilot then diverted to Felts Field, where he made a single-engine landing without incident. The patient being transferred was taken by another helicopter to the waiting hospital. Subsequent inspection revealed the engine oil bypass valve had failed.
Duck Strikes Beset Utah Aircraft The pilot of AIRMED’s Pilatus PC was landing at Salt Lake City International Airport on June 18 when at least one duck struck the aircraft. The right wing, fuselage, and landing gear were hit, but the plane landed without incident and has been repaired. No injuries were reported.
Nevada Helicopter Trashed after Rolling The Twin Star flown by Care Flight REMSA in Reno, Nev., landed at a scene near Hallelujah Junction, off U.S. 395, on August 18. During liftoff, the pilot lost visual reference because of sand and dust. While the aircraft was setting down, it rolled onto its side, causing substantial damage. One engine caught fire but was extinguished by the pilot. The pilot, nurse, and EMT received minor bruises but did not require medical attention. The patient they were transporting was not further injured and was taken to Washoe Medical Center by ground ambulance.
Alabama Flight Cut Short by Warning Light Less than 1 minute after takeoff on August 27, South Flite USA’s (Mobile, Ala.) pilot noticed a chip light in the engine. He safely landed the Bell 206 at a National Guard heliport, and ground crews were dispatched to transport the onboard patient and the crew to a local hospital.
Unexpected Landing Claims Texas Helicopter Scott and White’s AS 355 had been at a PR event on October 7 and was returning to its Temple, Texas, base when it was diverted to a scene with nonspecific coordinates. The team saw a searchlight and incorrectly believed that was the scene. The flight then was canceled by ground EMS. As the helicopter returned to base, one instrument light came on, followed by all lights and a dual engine failure. The pilot executed a low altitude autorotation in a field. Although the pilot suffered an L1 compression fracture and the paramedic a head laceration, the nurse was not injured. The aircraft is a total loss.