American Eurocopter built on its lead in the U.S. medevac market by announcing more than two dozen new helicopter sales this month at the Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) in St. Louis. The company announced the sale of 26 helicopters–10 singles and 16 twins–at the event. “This was a solid showing for our company,” said American Eurocopter president Marc Paganni.
Flight for Life
Ellsworth “Dutch” Kuhlman, the hospital executive who in 1972 founded the Flight for Life medical airlift program at Denver’s St. Anthony Hospital, died October 31 of respiratory failure. He was 84. Kuhlman began the program while he was president and executive director of St. Anthony. He envisioned a medical air evacuation program similar to military medical airlifts during the Vietnam War. St.
A Bell 222 operated by Air Methods subsidiary Mercy Air crashed on September 7 at 4:40 a.m. in Baker, Calif., en route to an auto accident. Killed in the crash, Mercy Air’s first, were pilot Marshall Butler, flight nurse Ana Coburn and paramedic Kalaya Jarbsunthie. The three were based at Mercy Air’s Pahrump, Nev. base. The NTSB is conducting an investigation.
Eurocopter BK 117C1, Whittier, Alaska, Dec. 3, 2007–The commercial pilot, paramedic and patient are missing after the crash of the EMS helicopter into the ocean three miles from Whittier. The body of the flight nurse was found. The helicopter, which has not been located, was operated by Evergreen Alaska Helicopters, under contract to Lifeguard. Weather was IMC and the pilot was giving position reports every 10 minutes.
Jeff Hensel leaves the same voicemail every July 23. “Today is the anniversary of my accident,” the 25-year-old Northern Illinois resident reminds people, as if those listening might actually forget that day in 1999 when his car slammed into a tree. “If it weren’t for Flight For Life and a lot of people who took care of me, I would not be here today.”