Search Helicopter Crash Kills 3 in Ala.


#1

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) A helicopter crashed in thick woods early Sunday during the search for a missing hunter, killing all three people on board, according to the company that owns the aircraft.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, said Jeff Davis, a manager of Air Evac EMS, based in West Plains, Mo.

The helicopter crew had spotted the hunter, and the crash occurred as the aircraft was hovering over him, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Warren Woodberry.

The hunter was eventually rescued. Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said the hunter had disappeared after dark Saturday in the Freedom Hills Wildlife Management Area, a 31,572-acre state hunting preserve.

The hunter was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life threatening, May said.

Emergency officials identified the victims as pilot Michael Baker and crew members Allan Bragwell and Tiffany Miles.

The victims were “our family members, and we are devastated at this loss,” Air Evac President and CEO Colin Collins said in a statement Sunday.

Air Evac has helicopters based in 12 states. In addition to providing air ambulance services, it often helps local law enforcement agencies with search-and-rescue missions free of charge, said company spokeswoman Julie Heavrin.

On the Net:
Air Evac: lifeteam.net/


#2

IDENTIFICATION
Regis#: 109AE Make/Model: B206 Description: BELL 206B HELICOPTER
Date: 12/30/2007 Time: 0850

Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
City: TUSCUMBIA State: AL Country: US

DESCRIPTION
N109AE, A BELL 206L ROTORCRAFT, CRASHED WHILE CONDUCTING SEARCH AND RESCUE
OPERATIONS IN A HEAVILY WOODED AREA, THE THREE PERSONS ON BOARD WERE
FATALLY INJURED, NEAR TUSCUMBIA, AL

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 3
# Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 2 Fat: 2 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: KMSL 300853Z AUTO 00000KT 5SM BR BKN 075 OVC085 05/04 A3002

OTHER DATA
Activity: Other Phase: Unknown Operation: OTHER

FAA FSDO: BIRMINGHAM, AL (SO09) Entry date: 12/31/2007


#3

The FSDO report there is inaccurate. The aircraft is a 206L model, not a B. EMS operators don’t use the B model because there is no room for a litter. Here’s a Bell 206B JetRanger. Notice the shorter fuselage and the lack of the extra window.


#4

In the description it does say it’s an L model. They just can’t make up their minds!


#5

Hmmm…I do see that now… Still an oops on their part, huh? :wink: