A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the cause of a medical helicopter crash near Green Cove Springs has been released. The Bell 206B went down in the early morning hours of December 26, killing a doctor from the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, a medical technician, and the pilot. The three took off from Jacksonville and were on their way to Gainesville to retrieve a heart for a waiting transplant patient in Jacksonville.
The NTSB reports the flight took off at 5:37 a.m. from the Mayo Clinic Heliport in Jacksonville and crashed 16 minutes later. Its altitude varied from 200 to 700 feet. Seconds before the Florida fatal aviation accident, the Bell helicopter struck a tree at about 30 feet off the ground, though it’s not clear yet why this experienced helicopter pilot didn’t avert the collision. He had been at 300 feet above sea level in what is described as foggy conditions.
News4jax.com reports the flight plan was not filed and minutes before the crash the pilot called the air traffic control tower in Jacksonville to ask about a restricted airspace. There was no emergency call of any kind. The heart was never retrieved and its intended recipient went back on the transplant waiting list.
The Florida wrongful death attorneys at Farah & Farah extend their sincere condolences to the friends and family of everyone involved as well as the family members of the transplant patient waiting for the procured organ. This is a tremendous loss for everyone involved and the entire healthcare community of Jacksonville. The NTSB may take up to a year to determine what actually happened.
Source: http://www.news4jax.com/news/NTSB-Helicopter-struck-several-trees-in-crash/-/475880/7641050/-/13trds5z/-/index.html; http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-01-04/story/report-helicopter-hit-trees-30-feet-clay-crash