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Yet Another Fatal Helicopter Crash

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Capitol Heights, MDOn the morning of September 28th four people were killed when a medical evacuation helicopter transporting two women who were involved in a motor vehicle accident crashed in a park after encountering severe weather. Authorities said the Trooper 2 helicopter crashed in a park near Capitol Heights, killing the pilot, the flight paramedic, a county emergency medical technician and one of the vehicle crash victims.

Medical HelicopterThe Washington Post said the crash was "the deadliest in the 47-year history of the Maryland State Police aviation unit, and the department's first in more than 22 years". Col. Terrence Sheridan, superintendent of the state police said Trooper 2, the second oldest helicopter in the fleet of 12, had just undergone a maintenance inspection, as it does every 100 hours it is in the air, and on Wednesday it had been cleared to fly.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the crash. A spokesperson from the NTSB said there was a lot of debris scattered at the scene of the helicopter crash and a "very strong smell" of jet fuel. It is not yet determined if bad weather was to blame, but the NTSB spokesperson did say that the board has recommended stricter rules with regard to EMS helicopters. From 2002 to 2005, fifty-five crashes occurred involving private air ambulances, which prompted the safety board to issue four recommendations, including higher standards for medical aircraft and more stringent decision-making in determining whether to fly in bad weather.

Maryland State Police have grounded all of their flights until the cause of the crash can be determined.



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