The National Transportation Safety Board presented its findings  regarding the September 27th, 2008 Maryland Medevac helicopter crash in Prince Georges County on Tuesday October 27th, 2009 and there was plenty of blame to go around.

The crash which killed four including the pilot, took place on a foggy night and questions were raised as to whether a helicopter was even necessary to transport two car accident victims from Waldorf, Maryland in Charles County to Prince Georges Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland.

The intended destination was ultimately bypassed due to fog and the crash of "Trooper 2" in Walker Mill Park took place en route to Malcom Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base.

The "probable cause" of the crash was " the pilot's attempt to regain visual conditions by performing a rapid descent and his failure to arrest the descent at the minimum descent altitude  during a non-precision approach."

Translated into english the helicopter pilot could not see where he was going so he tried to get below cloud cover and crashed into the ground. Why did this happen?

The weather obviously played a major role. Yet it was a failure on the part of both the pilot and the Maryland State Police to properly assess the weather that played a key role. The Board questioned whether the helicopter transport was necessary, whether the pilot should have accepted the task and whether air traffic controllers provided the pilot up-to-date weather conditions at Andrews air Force Base.

The Board found that the instruments on the helicopter appeared to be working properly and that the pilot had inadequate recent experience with instrument landing.

The N.T.S.B. issued recomendations to the F.A.A., the Maryland State Police, Prince Georges County and all Helicopter Emergency Medical Service operators. These included thoughts on pilot training, air traffic control, patient transport decisions and emergency response.
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