Tragic Air Evac Helicopter Accident Caused by Bird Strike

A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has revealed that a deadly Air Evac helicopter accident was caused by a bird strike. The accident, which claimed the lives of pilot Russell Haslam, flight nurse Adam Tebben, and medic Steven FitzGerald, occurred on January 20 during the helicopter’s return from an Oklahoma City hospital to its home base in Weatherford.

The NTSB report states that the helicopter was last tracked by the company’s GPS monitoring program at around 11:30 p.m. Following the disappearance of the helicopter from the tracking system, a search was initiated, leading to the discovery of the wreckage in an open pasture east of Hydro, approximately 8 miles east of Weatherford.

Upon inspecting the debris field, investigators found several geese carcasses, with one even embedded in a flight control servo. The report also mentioned that geese feathers were recovered for further identification.

Despite the accident occurring in an area categorized as having a “low” probability of bird activity according to the US Air Force’s Avian Hazard Advisory System, the presence of the geese carcasses in the debris field strongly suggests a bird strike as the cause of the accident. The main rotor blades of the helicopter were fractured, and the transmission had separated from the fuselage.

In remembrance of the crew, Global Medical Response will be hosting a memorial service on February 6 at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center in Weatherford. This service aims to celebrate the lives and dedication of those who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

This heartbreaking incident serves as a reminder of the potential dangers that bird strikes pose to aircraft, underscoring the importance of ongoing efforts to minimize these risks and ensure the safety of both crew members and passengers.

An FAQ section based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

Q: What caused the deadly Air Evac helicopter accident mentioned in the report?
A: The accident was caused by a bird strike.

Q: When did the accident occur?
A: The accident occurred on January 20.

Q: Who were the individuals who lost their lives in the accident?
A: The individuals who lost their lives in the accident were pilot Russell Haslam, flight nurse Adam Tebben, and medic Steven FitzGerald.

Q: Where did the accident occur?
A: The accident occurred during the helicopter’s return from an Oklahoma City hospital to its home base in Weatherford.

Q: How was it determined that the accident was caused by a bird strike?
A: Investigators found several geese carcasses in the debris field, with one even embedded in a flight control servo. The presence of geese feathers further supports the theory of a bird strike.

Q: Was there any indication of bird activity in the area prior to the accident?
A: The area was categorized as having a “low” probability of bird activity according to the US Air Force’s Avian Hazard Advisory System.

Q: Is there an event planned to commemorate the crew?
A: Yes, Global Medical Response will be hosting a memorial service on February 6 at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center in Weatherford.

Definitions for key terms or jargon:

NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board – a U.S. government agency responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents.

GPS: Global Positioning System – a satellite-based navigation system used for determining location and time.

Debris field: The area where wreckage and other debris from an accident is scattered.

Fuselage: The main body of an aircraft.

Suggested related links:
National Transportation Safety Board – for more information on air accident investigations.
US Air Force – to learn about the Avian Hazard Advisory System and its role in aviation safety.
Global Medical Response – for updates on the memorial service and information on their services.