NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


June 1, 2006

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the crash, May 30, 2006, of an EMS helicopter on the grounds of the U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington DC is ongoing.

The MedStar helicopter, a Eurocopter EC-135P1 (N601FH) operated by C.J. Systems Aviation Group of West Mifflin PA, was transporting a patient from Greater Southeast Community Hospital to the Washington Hospital Center at about 4:50 PM EDT, when the accident occurred. The pilot, a paramedic and a flight nurse were injured. The hospital reported later that evening that the patient being transported had died.

The helicopter wreckage has been moved to a facility at Tipton Airfield at Fort Meade MD, where a detailed examination of the airframe and components will be conducted over the next few days.

The NTSB Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) has interviewed the paramedic and the flight nurse and intends to interview the pilot when the latter's medical condition permits. The paramedic reported that the pilot made two approaches to the upper landing pad at the Washington Hospital Center and then was maneuvering for an approach to the lower landing pad when the accident occurred.

The IIC also plans to interview a number of people who were in the area at the time of the accident. In addition, as is typical of Safety Board investigations, there will be a review of the pilot's training and experience, the maintenance and service records of the accident aircraft, and air traffic and other communications, including a reported "mayday" call from the helicopter.

Parties to the investigation are Eurocopter, Pratt & Whitney of Canada, C.J. Systems Aviation Group, and the FAA.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.