Medical Flight Claims Five Lives

 - August 30, 2007, 5:36 AM

Five people perished on August 5 when their King Air E90B crashed on departure from Ruidoso Airport in New Mexico. The aircraft was operated by Southwest MedEvac of Las Cruces, N.M., and the flight had been dispatched as Part 135 when the accident happened. In addition to the pilot, flight medic and flight nurse, a 15-month-old patient and her mother were killed. According to the NTSB preliminary report, after a late-evening takeoff the airplane struck trees approximately four miles southeast of the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport in Ruidoso. The flight was seen on radar only once, heading 071 after departing Runway 6 at the airport. The report also said the wreckage indicated the engines were operating at the moment of impact. VMC conditions prevailed and the IFR flight plan on file had not yet been activated.