Aviation News

November 9, 2009

Video: Medevac Helicopter Hits Power Lines After Takeoff, Lands Safely

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A medical chopper hit some high voltage power lines while taking off from the scene of a car accident but managed to land safely a few seconds later. The extremely close call occurred last Wednesday night in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Video shot by an onlooker shows the chopper lifting off the ground, followed by a brilliant blue flash and loud buzz as one of the rotors slices through the power cables. The lines subsequently hit the ground and start a brush fire, as the pilot maintains control and sets the whirlybird back down. The patient was later transported to the hospital in an ambulance.

The medical helicopter business has come under closer scrutiny by the government and the media in recent months following a string of deadly incidents this year. The Washington Post in August published a multi-part series titled “Fatal Flights: A Perilous Rush to Profit” detailing the rapid growth of the industry and the shortage of safety oversight that has seemingly come with it.

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