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Medical helicopter crashes since 1990

photo
[Times photo: Dirk Shadd]
Witnesses say they saw no obvious signs of trouble with the helicopter before it hit this 649-foot tower head-on.

BAYFLIGHT CRASH
body being hoisted by rescue helicopter
[Times photo: Boysell Hosey]
  • Main story
  • Their credo, self-sacrifice, was also their shared fate
  • Like all flying, rescuing injured by air has risks
  • Helicopter type has history of problems, fatal crashes
  • Medical helicopter crashes since 1990
  • Donations for victims' families
    Photos from the crash scene
  • By Times News Researcher Kitty Bennett, Times wires, Times files

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2000


    2000

    • March: A medical helicopter carrying a 4-month-old girl with breathing problems crashes near the Texas-Oklahoma border shortly after taking off in fog, killing the baby and the three-person crew.

    1999

    • April: A pilot and two nurses die when their medical helicopter crashes in snowy weather shortly after delivering a patient to a hospital in Nevada.
    • June: A University of Kentucky medical helicopter returning to base at night in the fog crashes in eastern Kentucky, killing two pilots, a flight nurse and a paramedic.
    • July: A medevac helicopter crashes near Houston. Witnesses say pieces "shoot out" of the chopper's rotor head just before it crashes, killing the pilot, a paramedic and a nurse. The next month, the FAA grounds more than 20 percent of the helicopters that hospitals use to transport critically ill patients until tension-torsion straps -- four bands in the main rotor head -- are replaced.

    1998

    • January: After picking up an injured skier near Salt Lake City, a University of Utah helicopter crashes in a storm, killing the man and three crew members.
    • March: An emergency helicopter with a 12-year-old accident victim on board crashes in Los Angeles, killing the girl and three firefighters.
    • August: A medical helicopter en route to a hospital to pick up a patient crashes and burns in a soybean field in Iowa, killing all three people aboard.

    1997

    • December: A helicopter taking a traffic accident victim to a hospital near Denver becomes tangled in power lines and crashes, killing three crew members and the patient.

    1995

    • September: A helicopter on its way to pick up a woman in labor crashes into Puget Sound near Seattle, killing two nurses and the pilot.

    1994

    • November: A Tallahassee Regional Medical Center helicopter crashes on its way to pick up a patient, killing the pilot and a paramedic. A nurse suffers burns and facial fractures.
    • December: A helicopter en route to pick up a patient crashes near Ann Arbor, Mich., killing a doctor, a nurse and the pilot.

    1991

    • January: After transferring a young patient to a hospital in Pennsylvania, a hospital helicopter slams into a mountainside, killing all four crew members.
    • November: In Reno, Nev., a helicopter flying an accident victim to a hospital crashes, killing all four people aboard.

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