Medical helicopter crashes in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: News

Medical helicopter crashes in Mesa

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Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2003 8:49 am | Updated: 1:38 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A medical helicopter flying a patient crashed Monday at Mesa’s Falcon Field Municipal Airport, slightly injuring the three-person crew, officials said.

The patient, a 41-year-old man with bone fractures from an industrial accident in Show Low, did not suffer further injuries in the crash, said Mary Cameli, Mesa Fire Department deputy chief.

Before the crash, the Native American Air Ambulance crew was able to call for another helicopter to pick up the patient and continue his trip to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital without delay, said Mike Todd, a spokesman for the ambulance company.

The pilot of the Native American Air Ambulance helicopter radioed the tower to report hydraulic problems at about 6 p.m., then crashed on the northwest side of the airport near McDowell and Greenfield roads, Cameli said.

Mesa firefighters dispatched to the airport "could see it do a couple of complete spins before it hit the ground," Cameli said.

Todd said the crew attended to the patient during the crash and until he was placed on the other helicopter.

"It hit the ground pretty hard," Todd said. "It was a very stressful situation, but our crew held it together."

A nurse was able to escape after the crash, but two other crew members were briefly trapped in the helicopter until firefighters were able to stop the engine.

All suffered minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to hospitals.

The Federal Aviation Administration was called to investigate the crash.

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