Medical Helicopter Operated by LifeNet Crash Near Midwest National Airport

Mosby, MO
August 26, 2011

On Tuesday April 9, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board will meet to consider the following accident investigation report:

On August 26, 2011, at about 6:41 pm CDT, a Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter crashed near the Midwest National Air Center in Mosby, Missouri. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient were killed, and the helicopter was substantially damaged by impact forces.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable causes of this accident were the pilot's failure to confirm that the helicopter had adequate fuel onboard to complete the mission before making the first departure, his improper decision to continue the mission and make a second departure after he became aware of a critically low fuel level, and his failure to successfully enter an autorotation when the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident were (1) the pilot's distracted attention due to personal texting during safety-critical ground and flight operations, (2) his degraded performance due to fatigue, (3) the operator's lack of a policy requiring that an operational control center specialist be notified of abnormal fuel situations, and (4) the lack of practice representative of an actual engine failure at cruise airspeed in the pilot's autorotation training in the accident make and model helicopter.

Download a complete Abstract and Summary, including Findings and Safety Recommendations.


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