Investigation continues into crash of a medical helicopter in Creek County

Wednesday, November 10th 2004, 11:33 am
By: News On 6

Federal investigators are working to figure out what caused an Air-Evac helicopter to crash in Creek County Tuesday evening.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims found out this isn't the first crash Air-Evac has had this year.

Air-Evac had another accident in Indiana last spring. I did some digging and found out Air-Evac has had seven crashes in the last four years. The Air-Evac Lifeteam helicopter that went down in Creek County was hauled off from the crash site Wednesday.

The company says the chopper will be heading for a maintenance base near Oklahoma City and most likely retired.

This is Air-Evac's second crash this year. Last April, a helicopter went down, killing the patient on board and seriously injuring three crew members. National Transportation Safety Board records show from 2001 to 2003, the company had five other accidents, most of them minor.

All three crew members walked away from the Creek County accident and company officials say that's what's really important. Air Evac official Steve Bassett: "the nurse was doing fine, probably be released they're doing ok."

Air Evac says they fly more than 16,000 missions a year, making the percentage of helicopters that crash very small.

I also checked with the other major medical emergency helicopter company in town, LifeFlight. They say in 25 years and more than 36,000 missions, they have never had an accident. But they are a much smaller company than Air-Evac.

The FAA still hasn't released any information on what caused Tuesday's crash.