Feds: 2 Med Helicopter Crashes Caused By Pilots

Published January 20, 2012 11:36PM (EST)

Federal investigators say two fatal medical helicopter crashes within the last two years were caused by pilots trying to outrun storms.

The National Transportation Safety Board released both reports late this week. One was on a 2009 South Carolina crash, the other on one in 2010 in Tennessee.

The board said in South Carolina, 45-year-old pilot Patrick Walters should not have tried to fly through storms to his home base in Conway after dropping off a patient at a Charleston hospital. He and two on board were killed.

Investigators say the Tennessee helicopter pilot also was trying to outrun a storm and crashed in a field in Brownsville, about 55 miles northeast of Memphis. He and the two on board were killed in that crash also.

By Salon Staff

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