EMS Helicopter Crash in Flagstaff, Arizona
- An alarming trend has the FAA focusing attention on medical evacuation flights and the NTSB recommending new rules and improved use of technology.
- Statistics suggest 60-70% of these emergency flights are not necessary to treat victims, raising questions of their need and their procedures.
- Pilots participate in the second most dangerous of all professions, and crash rates for EMS pilots are closer to that of a combat pilot.
The recent June 29th, 2008, crash of two medical helicopters is the latest in a series of medical aviation transport crashes over the past few months. An alarming and rising trend has prompted the FAA to focus its attention on medical evacuation (medevac) flights and compelled the NTSB to recommend new rules and improved use of technology for EMS operators. Still, other statistics suggest that as much as 60-70% of these emergency flights are not necessary for the successful treatment of the victims. This recent crash again raises several important questions: Are these flights really necessary? Is safety needlessly being sacrificed in the name of life-saving? What can be done to improve the procedures and protocols for EMS operators?
Kreindler & Kreindler has vast experience in handling matters involving emergency medical transport accidents. In 2005, Arizona-based Tri-State Care Flight was operating a medical flight that crashed in Durango, Colorado. That helicopter crash resulted in the deaths of all three persons on board. Representing those aboard that flight was Justin Green, a partner at the law firm of Kreindler & Kreindler. Mr. Green, a former military helicopter pilot, specializes in aviation cases. He points to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows pilots participate in the second most dangerous of all professions. Even greater danger awaits EMS pilots for whom the crash rate is closer to that of a combat pilot.
For answers to your questions, please contact Mr. Brian Alexander, a partner at Kreindler & Kreindler and former military helicopter pilot, or Mr. Justin Green at 212-687-8181. Mr. Green may also be reached at 917-834-2952.