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Eagle III, Horrible Loss

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by Lawfficer, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer FUHRC

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    A rescue helicopter pilot is dead after crashing into a field outside Green Bay during what was described as a test flight.

    The helicopter crashed in a field near the County Rescue Services building on Allouez Avenue in Bellevue, south of Green Bay, at 10:30 Thursday morning. It was 200 yards from the helipad where it took off.

    The sheriff's department identified the pilot as James Vincent, 48, of Menominee, Michigan. He was the only person on-board.

    Brown County interim Medical Examiner Al Klimek says the pilot suffered traumatic injuries in the crash. Efforts were made to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at St. Vincent Hospital.

    The CEO of County Rescue Services says the helicopter, a backup to the Eagle III rescue helicopter, was on a test flight when it developed mechanical problems. Many people working or living near the helipad witnessed the crash, drawn out of their businesses and homes by the unusual sound of the helicopter in trouble.

    County rescue, sheriff's deputies, and the Bellevue Fire Department all responded to the scene and were still there late in the afternoon.

    "This is a tragedy of monumental proportions for the victim their family, friends, and the good people involved at Eagle III," CEO Tom Madigan said.

    Since it was built in 1987, the helicopter had 4,800 hours of air time. Madigan was shaken and confused why it crashed after passing an inspection just one day earlier.

    "In addition to its daily inspections, the last major airframe inspection was completed on March 22nd of this year, the last full avionic inspection was completed April 12th," Madigan said.

    FAA investigators were dispatched from Milwaukee soon after the crash. The NTSB will also join the investigation. The FAA and NTSB involvement in the investigation is routine.

    "It is the commitment of Eagle III that we do everything in our power to find the cause and make certain that this never repeats," Madigan said.