Cleveland medical helicopter crash

  1. I copied this and put it on for those of you who may be at work and not tuned into the news. Sorry if i am not alowed to cut and paste articles but thought this was important.


    2 killed in Cleveland medical helicopter crash
    Chopper owned by Pittsburgh company

    Friday, January 18, 2002

    Local and wire reports

    CLEVELAND -- A medical helicopter owned by a Pittsburgh company crashed and exploded just after taking off from the roof of a hospital early today, killing two of the three people on board, police said.

    The helicopter crashed into a courtyard at University Hospitals of Cleveland, about four miles east of downtown, shortly before 12:30 a.m., said Eric Sandstrom, a hospital spokesman.

    It landed on an unoccupied car and broke into pieces, with only the tail recognizable in the twisted wreckage. No one on the ground was injured.

    The State Highway Patrol identified the victims as pilot William R. Spence, 51, of Marshallville, Ohio, and flight nurse Kelly Conti, 38, of Wickliffe, Ohio.

    A medic who was badly burned was in serious condition.

    The helicopter, built in 1984, was owned by Pittsburgh-based CJ Systems Aviation Group, which has a contract with the hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Eileen Korey.

    The University Hospital MedEvac helicopter medical crew members lived in Ohio but were trained in Pittsburgh and are part of the STAT MedEvac system operated by a consortium of Pittsburgh hospitals. The accident will have no effect in Pittsburgh, other than STAT Mevac employees mourning the loss of co-workers, said John Chamerlin, STAT MedEvac outreach manager.

    The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    OMG that's terrible!!!

    That happened here about 10-12 years ago. I am so sorry for the loss of life. My sincere condolences to their families and their coworkers!
  4. by   rachaelm4
    My husband used to work for this company about 2 and 1/2 years ago. He left because the company was compromising the safety of the people who flew in these helicopters! I know more about this company than most, and I would never fly on these helicopters. If you're a nurse on one of these helicopters, you might find what my husband has to say very eye opening! This company has changed names several times, and is in conflicts with the Federal Avaition Administration on a regular basis for safety violations. Just remember, being a flight nurse is a great job, but you are relying on someone else to take care of what you are flying in, and chances are that person doesn't really care about what he is doing at all!
  5. by   NicuGal
    We were all stunned at work to hear this...we had met the flight nurse several times when she picked up kids and the pilot was familiar to us too. Very sad! They are starting to think it was a wind shear...they have a double helipad and the wind shear picks up around that building...so it may have caught the roter and pushed it into the building. The paramedic that survived is in our Burns...he is a wreck physically and emotionally! He was near the tail end and was partially ejected and then jumped out and fell 12 stories.

    A very sad day here in Cleveland . All of us that do Lifeflight transports are just sick over this .

    I do have to reply to above...I don't know much about that company, but our pilots...I trust my life with them and they are a wonderful crew. The pilot that was flying that helicopter used to fly with us...so I doubt that he "didn't care" about his crew. I don't think that you should make generalizations and comments like that if you don't know the person or the situation.
    Last edit by NicuGal on Jan 19, '02
  6. by   rachaelm4
    Maybe you just don't understand that my comments are towards the basic mechanical conditions of the helicopters and how the company views their own maintenance procedures, and hiring practices of the maintenance people. My comments are not about the pilots or the flight crew. You may have the upmost confidence in your pilots, but if that helicopter fails mechanical, there is nothing he can do to save you, or anyone on that helicopter. No one every thinks about the maintenance on these helicopters until it's to late!

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