Factual Report: EMS Dauphin crashes in IMC

 - May 1, 2009, 12:15 PM

Eurocopter SA 365N-1D Dauphin, District Heights, Md., Sept. 27, 2008–The Maryland State Police medevac helicopter crashed in a park in District Heights, killing the commercial pilot, a paramedic, a field provider and one of the two patients aboard. The heli- copter had picked up the two auto accident victims and was flying them to a hospital. No flight plan was filed; the police were using an ADS-B global navigation system to track the accident flight. The ceiling was 1,800 feet broken and visibility was seven miles.

The pilot called Washington National tower and said, “Uh, yes sir, we just ran into some heavy stuff. I don’t think we’re going to be able to make it all the way to the hospital.” ATC cleared the helicopter for an ILS approach to Runway 19R at Andrews AFB. The pilot told the controller that he was not picking up the glideslope and requested an ASR approach. The controller said, “I’m not current on that; I can’t do it.” There were no further transmissions from the helicopter. The pilot had logged only 1.9 hours of actual instrument experience from June 17, 2006, to Sept. 13, 2008.