It was only a few weeks back that we featured the story of Nurse Kristin McLain’s death during an air ambulance rescue mission, where she fell off a hoist to her death. Unfortunately, there has been another death and this time, it was the air ambulance pilot who lost his life.
The helicopter was being flown for a nonemergency purpose by pilot Patrick Mahany when it crashed into a parking lot, merely 100 meters from where it had taken off. The Flight for Life air ambulance chopper had taken off from St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco. Flight nurse, Matt Bowe who is 32 years old suffered injuries in the mishap but is out of danger. Paramedic and flight nurse, Dave Repsher who is 45 years old, however, was not equally lucky and is said to have suffered serious injuries.
The Cause of the Air Ambulance Accident is Being Investigated
There were initial reports that the pilot was trying to negotiate windy conditions when he lost control of the air ambulance chopper and hit the parking lot, losing his life instantly. Mahany actually had to be extricated from the wreckage.
The incident is being investigated by National Transportation Security Board. Jennifer Rodi who is a Senior Air Safety Investigator of the Board revealed that her team had already taken stock of the wreckage. The chopper was an Airbus make AS350 B3e, which is designed for high altitude flying and is considered a powerful aircraft. The inquiry is expected to last for about 10 months and the FAA would participate in the investigations.
The Air Ambulance Pilot was Highly Experienced
Patrick Mahany who lost his life in the accident was a decorated ex defense man and had served the country in the Vietnam War. He had been with Flight for Life since 1987. Mahany was the recipient of Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his services in the defence forces. Summit County residents remembered the brave pilot during the 4th of July celebrations recently, as a mark of respect and gratitude.
Flight for Life leases its air ambulances from Air Methods Corporation.