This time it was STAR air medical transport and the victim was one of its crew members – Kristin McLain who was a flight nurse. The tragedy occurred on April 27th while conducting a rescue mission in Barton Creek Greenbelt which is in Austin, Texas. The air medical transport vehicle was rescuing a hiker who was injured; the name of this woman was not disclosed. An EC-145 chopper was being used at the time. Nurse McLain was 46 years old and was originally from Colorado.
How did the Air Medical Transport Tragedy Unfold?
Due to the tough terrain that the hiker was stuck in, she had to be hoisted up to the air medical transport helicopter. Nurse McLain first secured the patient to the hoist and then got on the hoist herself. However, the hoist went into a spin shortly thereafter.
According to the officials of STAR air medical transport, hoist spin is not an uncommon phenomenon. The pilot had moved the helicopter slightly forward to control the spin, which actually eased down after this maneuver. However, unfortunately, Ms. McLain fell off the hoist and died on the spot. It was not immediately known from what height she had fallen.
STAR Grounded its Air Medical Transport for a Week
STAR had immediately grounded its emergency air medical transport services for a week after the fall. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a preliminary inquiry but has not yet given the reason for the accident. However, it has been confirmed that the victim was spinning on the hoist prior to the fall. The operator of the hoist revealed that the spin had almost come to a halt when Ms. McLain fell to her death.
STAR resumed its emergency air medical transport services on May 6th. An official of the organization revealed that they would not be resuming search and rescue operations for the time being.