Preliminary Accident Reports

April 2008 Issue

February 5, 2008, S. Padre Island, Texas, Eurocopter France AS350B2

At 2054 Central time the aeromedical helicopter crashed into water while maneuvering to a temporary landing zone. Visual conditions prevailed. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The airline transport-rated pilot-in-command, the flight nurse and the flight paramedic were fatally injured. A review of recorded Air Traffic Control radar data shows the helicopter flew to its intended destination at altitudes ranging from 700 feet to 1100 feet msl. It then overflew the destination at 800 feet; eyewitnesses observed it entering a left turn. Radar data shows the helicopter continued in the left turn and crashed two miles west of the destination. Weather reported at a station nine miles west include 8 miles’ visibility with scattered clouds at 1000 feet and overcast clouds at 1400 feet. Eyewitnesses at the scene reported the visibility as good, but no stars were visible.

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