NTSB Identification: CEN12FA670
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Eastland, TX
Aircraft: AGUSTA SPA A109E, registration: N144CF
Injuries: 3 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 30, 2012, approximately 0932 central daylight time, an Augusta 109E Emergency Medical Service (EMS) helicopter, N144CF, registered to Wells Fargo Bank NW NA Trustee, Salt Lake City, Utah, crashed after an uneventful 26 minute cross-country flight. The crash occurred while the helicopter was being maneuvered to avoid local weather prior to setting up for an instrument approach to the Eastland Airport, Eastland, Texas. All three occupants, the airline transport rated pilot, flight nurse, and a flight paramedic, sustained serious injuries. The flight was being operated by CareFlite of Grand Prairie, Texas, and was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a repositioning flight to pick up a patient. The helicopter departed the CareFlite base located at Granbury Airport (GDJ), Granbury, Texas, at 0906. Its intended destination was the Eastland Airport (ETN), Eastland, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight from Granbury to Eastland, however, marginal visual meteorological conditions or instrument conditions were reported in the vicinity of the accident site. A company VFR flight plan was activated upon departure from Granbury and an IFR flight plan was placed on file with ATC, but was not activated.

According to first responders to the accident site, the helicopter impacted the ground in an open field, aproximately 4.4 miles south of Eastland Airport. Emergency responders transported the occupants to a nearby hospital. The helicopter was transported to a secure facility for examination.

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