AAMS Statement on NTSB Public Meeting of Survival Flight January 29, 2019, Bell 407 fatal accident

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), representing the critical care transport industry–both air and ground–encourages and supports standards of performance reflecting safe operations as well as efficient, high-quality patient care.

Yesterday, (19.5.2020) National Transportation Safety Board held a virtual public meeting on a fatal accident involving a Bell 407 helicopter air ambulance, operated by Survival Flight, that crashed in Zaleski, Ohio, January 29, 2019. The NTSB concluded the accident was caused by the operator’s “inadequate management of safety.” Details and documents of the accident are available here: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/NR20200519.aspx

“AAMS has consistently supported a multitude of regulations to enhance safe operations in the HAA community. We’ve also worked tirelessly as an industry to raise safety standards and share best practices,” said Cameron Curtis, AAMS President and CEO. “While our organization does not comment on individual air medical transport accidents, AAMS views any disregard of these efforts- especially those that exist to preserve the safety of air medical patients and crews- as a serious matter. Our organization advocates for the highest operational standards for the safety of our critical care transport providers as well as the patients” added Curtis.

AAMS supported FAA regulations finalized in 2014 to significantly raise weather minimums for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operation, among multiple other regulations designed to enhance the safety of air ambulance operations, including the requirement to operate with Helicopter Terrain Alert and Warning Systems (HTAWS), and Operational Control Centers (OCCs). The multiple regulations supported by AAMS were specifically designed to address the risks presented in the NTSB’s accident report.

AAMS remains committed to enhancing the safety of air medical operations and the patients and air ambulance crews that we transport.


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