Please keep in mind that the initial report released by the NTSB is the preliminary report and doesnt contain any forth-coming information. The early indication is that they have not found a mechanical failure at this point. That just means basicly looking at the initial wreckage and sifting through things at the scene. The investigation in the lab will take more time. The engine is back at the Rolls Royce lab which is seperate from the lab in Atalanta where the helicopter was taken. The process will take a while and the facts will lead them to a conclusion. The final report will contain known facts and conclusions drawn from the investigative process.
There are only two facts about the crash at this point...It was not weather related and the aircraft did not strike power lines. There are no indications at this point that the hunter fired at the helicopter.....I am sure that possibility will be investigated and again at this time there are no indications he did. Rumors will only make things worse for the families.
Trust me, we are on the edge of our seats wanting to know what happened. Waiting for the final report is very difficult knowing that it will take so long but it is better than jumping to conclusions and getting it wrong.
Air Evac has suspended all SAR missions (search & rescue) through out the entire country until the Safety committee can re-evaluate our mission profile. I suspect if SAR is still an option it will be extremely restricted and available only in the day time.
we use night vision systems, terrain avoidance systems, Sky-trac flight following, Radar altimeter, Doppler weather radar and conservative weather minimums to make our night operations as safe as possible........We have all been through crew resource management and classes on situational awarness. We have 2 safety briefings each day and 1 safety class each month. Our mechanic checks the aircraft each morning, as well as, the medical crew and pilot.....It would not suprise me if a mechanical failure is not found. I dont know what happened but we should let the NTSB complete it's investigation.
I would like to thank everyone for their concern. We all want to know what happened but the only thing we can really do is continue to pray for the families, support them and wait for the investigation to be completed.
Flight Paramedic Supervisor
Air evac 16