Rosenker To Serve As Lead Spokesman For Investigation
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 06.30.08 1200
EDT: Officials now report six fatalities following the
in-flight collision of two medevac helicopters Sunday afternoon
near a Flagstaff, AZ hospital.
The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a Go
Team to investigate the collision, which occurred at about
3:48 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and involved two Bell 407 EMS
helicopters -- N407GA operated by Air Methods, and N407MJ
operated by Classic Helicopters. The helos collided less than
a mile from the Flagstaff Medical Center while both approached the
hospital for landing.
Earlier reports of seven lives lost in the crash were revised
early Monday, with the seventh victim now reported in critical
NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Aaron Sauer has been
designated as Investigator-in-Charge and will lead a team of four
investigators. NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker is accompanying the
team and will serve as principal spokesman for the on-scene
Keith Holloway has accompanied the team as press officer, and
three representatives of the Board's Transportation Disaster
Assistance office are also accompanying the team.
0001 EDT: Tragic news from Flagstaff, AZ, 130
miles north of Phoenix, as a midair collision involving two medical
helicopters occurred Sunday afternoon with at least seven reported
The Associated Press reports all three people aboard one of the
helicopters were lost including a patient and the pilot. Four
others are reported killed and three critically wounded though
there has been no confirmation of they were all on the second
helicopter or whether some were on the ground.
According Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation
Administration in Los Angeles, the collision occurred at 1545 local
time. Both aircraft were Bell 407 commercial helicopters, one owned
by Air Methods of Englewood, CO and the other by Classic
Helicopters of Woods Cross, UT.
The collision occurred near Flagstaff Medical Center. Hospital
spokeswoman Starla Addair said she did not have any information to
Coconino County sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair added the crash
started a 10-acre brush fire that authorities were able to