Canada Raps Ornge for Safety Violations
Canadian health and safety investigators charged Ontario’s troubled air ambulance service, Ornge, with 17 violations of the Canadian Labor Code related to the nighttime crash of a Sikorsky S-76A on May 31 last year near its base in rural northern Mosonee that killed its four-man crew. The helicopter went down shortly after takeoff en route to a patient pick-up.
The charges include pairing pilots who both had inadequate currency, experience and training in the S-76, including one who had not passed all required proficiency checks and one with insufficient night experience; failure to provide the pilots with “a means to maintain visual reference” during night flights; and failure to adequately supervise the helicopter base.
The results of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigation into the crash remain pending. In a prepared statement, Ornge said it “remains committed to providing high-quality air ambulance and medical transport service, while taking any and all steps necessary to ensure the safety of our patients and crews” and has already taken corrective actions.