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The Problem Associated with Medical Helicopters
According to an article in USA Today entitled "Expert: Air-ambulance crews among most likely to die," medical helicopters have the worst aviation record when it comes to fatal crashes. That same article, which was published in 2009, stated that from 1972 to the date of publishing, 264 people had been killed in air ambulance accidents. Sadly, that number has only gone up, with accidents such as the one in Texas that claimed the lives of five people. The twin-engine Cessna 421 had just taken off when it crashed in an open area. The patient, his wife, two nurses, and the pilot were all killed.
Pilot error is one of the most common reasons given for these crashes, but there are many others. Industry carelessness and poor regulations also have been cited as possible factors in the high number of medical helicopter accidents.
What is being done to prevent air ambulance accidents?
In 2006, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report that brought to light some of the issues that had led to an increase in emergency helicopter accidents. The report caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to increase supervision of the industry.
In the fall of 2010, the FAA proposed new rules for helicopter operators, which included air ambulances. The FAA recommended more stringent flight rules and procedures, as well as additional on-board safety equipment. Only time will tell if and how these stricter regulations and safety measures will help.
Why You Might Need the Help of a Helicopter Accident Attorney
Helicopter accidents are complex and require a thorough understanding of aviation law. Not every personal injury attorney has this knowledge. It is therefore important that you contact an experienced helicopter accident lawyer for advice. You need to be aware of your rights and legal options following a crash.
To learn more, contact the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-855-5AIRCRASH (1-855-524-7272). Also, be sure to order a FREE copy of Aviation Accidents: What You Really Need to Know.