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February 2013 Archives

Pilot and Flight Nurse Killed in Oklahoma Medical Helicopter Crash; A Third Person is Critically Injured

It always seems even more tragic when a medical helicopter crashes because it inevitably involves people who work day and night in an attempt to save lives. The Friday crash in Oklahoma that left two people dead and a third person critically injured did not involve a patient, but the pilot and a flight nurse were killed.  The Eurocopter AS 350 helicopter reportedly was on its way to Watonga, Oklahoma, to pick up a patient. The aircraft, which was owned by Wichita-based air medical transport service  EagleMed,  crashed between a retirement center and a hospital but did not strike the buildings.  Several staff members reportedly rushed out to help a third person, and pulled him out just before a second explosion.  He was rushed to OU Medical Center in critical condition, according to media reports.  A Good Samaritan was treated and released at the scene, according to authorities. The entire Oklahoma area is mourning the two deaths of wonderful people they called "extended family."  A terrible tragedy indeed.

Five People Aboard Small Business Jet Crash in Eastern Georgia Affiliated with Medical Facility

Federal and local authorities are still examining the cause of a small jet that crashed in eastern Georgia shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 20, 2013). It is being reported that five of those aboard were affiliated with a vein clinic in Augusta, Georgia, that also had offices in Tennessee.  Among them, according to the Huffington Post, was a surgeon and members of his staff.  Two pilots also reportedly were aboard that business jet.  Five people were killed and among the two survivors was a pilot, authorities reported.  Both survivors reportedly were taken to a nearby hospital. Chief Deputy Ronnie Williamson told CNN that the aircraft, a Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I, "overshot the runway" in Thomson, Georgia, and barely missed a manufacturing building before crashing in the woods.  The ensuing fire caused a power outage for nearby residents. Witnesses told the press that remnants of the wreckage was strewn over a 100-yard area.  Investigators said they were trying to figure out why the pilot aborted his landing on a 5,500-foot runway at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta. Investigators told the press that they will be reviewing a videotape from a security camera at the airport as well as examining the flight-data recorder, or "black box," to see if that yields any clues.  They also will be talking to air traffic controllers at the airport, voice communications and radar data, they said.  The NTSB told WSMV-TV in Georgia that no distress call was issued before the crash. The plane is listed as belonging to Pavilion Group, LLC in Delaware, Georgia television station WSMV reported.

Tragic Medical Helicopter Crash in Oklahoma City Kills Two and Critically Injures a Third Person

A medical helicopter crashed between a retirement center and a nursing home in Oklahoma City Friday morning, killing two people and critically injuring a third, according to media reports. The EagleMed helicopter, an AS 350, reportedly was leaving Baptist Hospital and was on its way to its home base in Watonga, Oklahoma, when it crashed about 5:45 a.m. Friday.  Neighbors told the press they heard a loud explosion and immediately called 911. Smoke and flames could be seen in the area of the crash, witnesses said.  The helicopter crashed in between St. Ann's Retirement Center and St. Ann's Nursing Home but did not strike the buildings. No one, according to authorities, was hurt in the buildings of the three crew members on board, two tragically died in the crash.  A third crew member, reportedly in critical condition, was pulled from the wreckage just before the explosion.  Nurses from the hospital along with passersby rushed over to help the crew members.  One of the Good Samaritans reportedly was hurt while trying to help the lone survivor, but the condition of that person is not known. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are on the scene to inspect the wreckage.  It is the second fatal EagleMed helicopter crash in three years.  In July, 2010, an EagleMed helicopter crashed in Kingfisher County, killing the pilot and a flight nurse.  Another crew member survived that crash.

Five People Killed in Georgia Plane Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a go-to team to investigate the crash of a Beech Premier IA jet that occurred Wednesday (Feb. 20, 2013) night as the pilot reportedly was attempting to land. Five people reportedly died and two others were injured as the pilot attempted a go-around at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport near Augusta, Georgia.  Media sources reported that the pilot of the business jet was on approach to Runway 10 when he elected to abort the landing.  The plane, though, reportedly struck the top of a 60-foot concrete utility pole about a quarter of a mile from the end of the runway.  The left wing of the aircraft was sheared off, according to reports, and a fuel leak caused a fire as the plane continued to fly about another quarter mile until it crashed in a nearby wooded area. The jet, which took off from Nashville, was owned by a large Southern medical practice, according to authorities.  A pilot and a passenger who were injured were taken to a nearby hospital.

FAA Slow Rule-Making Process Impacts Grieving Families of Victims of Flight 3407

It has been four years since the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on its way to Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 aboard and a person on the ground.  The families have had to endure much pain and sorrow dealing with the tragedy and the process of getting answers.    Of course, those events cannot be changed, but in an effort to do things more safely going forward, the families have been pushing for legislation in Congress that was passed in August, 2010.  But now they reportedly have been frustrated by the slow pace of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to turn those laws into regulations that the airlines can follow. The modernized rules updated requirements on pilot working hours and rest requirements, part of the problem of the tragic crash of the jet heading to Buffalo.  Reporters for the Buffalo News have been closely following the story of the crash and its aftermath, and recently reported that the FAA is having trouble complying with "two central mandates of the law: tougher experience qualifications for pilots and improved pilot training." Many family members traveled to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Feb. 12, to again take their case to lawmakers there.  That day marked the fourth anniversary of the tragic crash. The FAA is reported to have the qualifications rules by July, 11 months past the set deadline, and the training rule to be done in October, which is more than two years overdue.  The FAA explained the delays by saying "additional coordination necessary," according to the Buffalo News story.  The FAA seeks comments from various interests including the airlines, pilots, flight training schools and aviation safety advocates, which often includes the victims' families.  Many of the families of those who died on Flight 3407 expressed their frustration to the Buffalo News about the slow process here. Click here to read the recent Buffalo News story written by reporter Jerry Zremski.

Forget Cold Medicine for Your Youngster and Other Practical Advice

Have you seen the blog written by Dr. Howard J. Bennett?  He's a Washington, D.C. board-certified pediatrician who, when he's not seeing patients, writes books and some very practical advice for moms. One of his latest tips was published in The Washington Post newspaper about how "Research has repeatedly shown that cold medicines don't work for children younger than 6."  He goes on to say that these store-bought, often self-prescribed remedies provide only negligible benefit for children aged 6 to 12. Dr. Bennett quoted from a 2012 Cochrane Collaboration study which looked at the effectiveness of over-the-counter cold medications.  (Abstract can be found by clicking here).  Although they can be "some help" to teenagers and adults, Dr. Bennett wrote that typical cold symptoms resolve themselves in seven to 10 days or may even linger two to three weeks. "The truth is, a cold has a predictable life span, and not much can be done to interrupt it," he says.  He explained how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that cold medicines not be used at all by children younger than 2 and how the FDA is reviewing its policy on the use of cold medicine in older children. To read the entire story which was reprinted in the Chicago Tribune Jan. 30, 2013, click here.   There, you will also see the list of what is in oral cold medicines. Dr. Bennett suggests, "So the next time your child has a cold, walk past the cold medicine aisle at the supermarket and pick up some soup instead."  Drink lots of fluids, he recommends. Check out Dr. Bennett's common sense advice on a number of questions that every mom has, no matter how many children or no matter their age.

Bob Clifford Sits Down for a Heart-to-Heart with his Daughter and Editor of Chicago Lawyer

After Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year, he was contacted by the Chicago Lawyer to do a special interview.  His eldest daughter, Erin, was sworn in as a lawyer the month before in November, 2012, and the publication wanted to hear from an experienced practitioner along with his newly-sworn in daughter. Then Editor-in-Chief of the publication, Olivia Clarke, sat down with the two lawyers, representing two different generations of legal thought, at Clifford Law Offices in the Loop.  Her interview revealed they really aren't that different in their views of the law, the role of a lawyer, the skills needed to be successful and the importance of giving back to the community.  The entire 15-minute interview entitled "This Will Only Take a Moment" can be viewed here.

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