Air Methods Appeals NTSB Midair Findings

 - June 30, 2009, 11:40 AM

Air Methods has petitioned the NTSB to revise its probable cause findings related to the fatal midair collision between an Air Methods Bell 407 and a Classic Helicopters Bell 407 on approach to Arizona’s Flagstaff Medical Center on June 29 last year. The NTSB found the probable cause of the accident was “both helicopter pilots’ failure to see and avoid the other helicopter on approach to the helipad. Contributing to the accident were the failure of N407GA’s (Air Methods) pilot to follow arrival and noise abatement guidelines and the failure of N407MJ’s (Classic Helicopters) pilot to follow communications guidelines.” In a prepared statement, Air Methods asked the NTSB for “reconsideration and deletion of the Board’s finding that a contributing cause in the accident was the failure of Air Methods’ pilot to follow arrival and noise abatement guidelines; the addition, as a contributing cause, of the presence of prescription pain-killing medication in the Classic pilot’s blood that could influence decisions or performance; and the addition, as a contributing cause, of the failure of the Classic communications center to communicate pertinent information to the Classic aircraft regarding the fact that Air Methods’ aircraft was inbound to Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) with the same estimated time of arrival as the Classic aircraft.”