NTSB says medical helicopter pilot was concerned about power lines

Thursday, March 3rd 2005, 1:08 pm
By: News On 6

GENTRY, Ark. (AP) -- Federal investigators are shedding some light on the events before the crash of a Claremore-based helicopter ambulance in Arkansas in which a car crash victim died.

The chopper's pilot reported being worried about clearing some power lines and losing effectiveness of the aircraft's tail rotor before the crash.

That's according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Killed in the February 21st crash near Gentry, Arkansas, was 71-year-old Robert Arneson of Harlingen, Texas. The three crew members were injured but survived.

The Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter was taking Arneson to a hospital after he was involved in a one-car accident near Cherokee City, Arkansas.

Pilot Dennis Enders of Broken Arrow, paramedic Clayton Bratt of Hulbert and nurse Dee Ann Miller of Bentonville, Arkansas, were injured in the crash.

Witnesses say the helicopter had just lifted off with Arneson and had reached about 400 feet when it began to spin and crashed.