The FAA is investigating an incident in which a Boston MedFlight pilot briefly fell asleep at the controls of a helicopter, believed to be an Airbus H145, while transporting a patient to a Boston hospital from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on June 24. The pilot, whose identity was not immediately released, overflew the designated helipad before turning around and completing the flight without incident.
“Our investigation determined that fatigue was a factor and we are now working with a fatigue management consultant and a safety consultant to review our policies and procedures so that this isolated incident does not happen again,” Boston MedFlight said in a statement. The company operates several twin-turbine helicopters and airplanes.
Although the FAA acknowledged it is investigating the incident, the agency did not provide any additional details, such as how it became aware of the occurrence or if certification action against the pilot is being considered. Meanwhile, the not-for-profit aeromedical company said the pilot is “no longer employed by Boston MedFlight.”
Boston MedFlight declined further comment beyond saying, “Throughout our 34-year history as a nonprofit organization providing critical care medical transport to over 75,000 patients in need, the safety of our patients and crews has always been our highest priority.”