Four lives were taken last week when a medical copter took a nosedive into the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation is focusing on the aircraft’s fuel level; federal aviation officials said the pilot indicated he wanted to stop for fuel at the Midwest National Air Center. Investigators also believe the pilot was low on altitude as well which caused him to nosedive rather than landing safely.
A preliminary report states that the pilot overestimated his fuel level before the aircraft crashed into a field. The pilot reported he had two hours of fuel in the tank when he took off. However after 28 minutes, he told flight dispatchers that he didn’t have as much fuel as he thought. He opted to stop at the Midwest National Air Center to refuel, but the helicopter crashed when it lost power. The NTSB’s final report may not be completed for about a year.
The husband of a patient killed in the accident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming the operator took unnecessary risks by running with low fuel. The lawsuit contends that Air Methods failed to put enough fuel in the Eurocopter AS350 before transporting his wife from a hospital in Bethany, Mo., to Liberty Hospital.
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