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NTSB Report Sheds Light on Air Ambulance Crash of 2018


The job of air ambulance crew members is always fraught with risks. Feeling obliged to answer emergency calls in less than conducive conditions to fly is among them, often resulting in fatal crashes. However, there are also those times when the conditions seem perfectly fine, but the journey eventually ends up in a tragedy. Helicopters and airplanes are complex machines that sometimes give way for reasons that are not apparent at the outset. The late evening flight of November 18, 2018, that snuffed the lives of three air ambulance professionals was a similar one.

What does NTSB Say About the Air Ambulance Crash?

The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB has stopped short of releasing a full official report. However, it has shared some of its findings. It revealed that there was no malfunction in the engines or other equipment. The report has veered towards ruling out an equipment-related failure as the cause of the crash. It had examined both the left and the right engines of the fallen aircraft. It has released a report in this regard. The air ambulance vehicle in question is a Cessna 441. It crashed close to Harmon, North Dakota.

The Chronology of the Crash

The air ambulance had taken off from Bismarck Municipal Airport and was en route Sloulin Field International Airport in Williston. The medical flight had remained airborne for 45 minutes after which it crashed. There was enough fuel to last them through the flight. The crash had killed the pilot, Todd Lansky; nurse, Bonnie Cook; and paramedic, Chris Iverson. The pilot had earlier reported that he had experienced jerking movements when the flight had been put on autopilot. The information was recovered by NTSB during the investigation that revealed an SMS sent by the pilot about this. The investigation is still on and the hope is that a final report will be released soon.

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