A medical helicopter carrying three people crashed in northern Wisconsin Thursday (April 26, 2018) killing all three flight crew members on board. The crash occurred late Thursday night about 150 miles northwest of Green Bay in an unlighted rural area after having dropped off a patient in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Ascension Health Spirit helicopter crashed in a heavily wooded area near Hazelhurst, Wisconsin. Kevin P. Durkin, aviation attorney at Clifford Law Offices, spoke to a reporter from Associated Press, calling it a “classic case” of a medical helicopter having problems at night in a rural area. “Because of the lack of lighting in rural areas, visual orientation is critical and pilots need to know exactly where they are so that wrong decisions are not made,” Durkin said.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are on the scene sifting through the wreckage in order to determine the probable cause of the helicopter crash. In the past decade, there have been 83 medvac crashes involving 100 deaths, according to ABC News.
“Pilots in medical helicopters are fully aware of the life-and-death circumstances of the patients they are to transport, but they cannot take that into consideration when deciding whether it is safe to fly, particularly at night and in rural areas” Durkin said. “Medvac transportation involves the initial decision to determine if the flight is medically necessary, and then the decision if meteorological conditions allow for it. As the facts develop in the Wisconsin crash, experts will determine the cause of this terrible tragedy and what went wrong.”
Clifford Law Offices has extensive experience in helicopter crash accidents. For example, the firm obtained a $10 million settlement on behalf of a Brazilian executive who was killed with his wife and the pilot in a short flight from New York to New Jersey. Robert Clifford and Durkin also received a $4.1 million settlement on behalf of a photographer killed when a helicopter crashed in a Chicago suburb. They frequently present programs and are quoted in the press on the safety of helicopter flights.
To speak further to an experienced aviation attorney at Clifford Law Offices, call Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).