Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Temporary REACT helicopter returns to air after December crash

 Rockford Memorial Hospital's REACT helicopter program returned to the air this past weekend using a temporary aircraft after a fatal Dec. 10 helicopter crash.

Hospital officials said last month that they hoped to have the program back online soon. The helicopter program resumed full air and ground transport service on Sunday working with Air Methods, the hospital's aviation partner.

The first flight involved a patient flown from Freeport to Rockford Memorial Hospital. REACT, which stands for Regional Emergency Acute Care Transport, is using a temporary Eurocopter EC135 aircraft housed on the hospital's North Rockton Avenue campus.

The permanent replacement aircraft, which is also a Eurocopter EC135, is being painted and outfitted with new technology. Officials expect it to be ready within two months.

Hospital officials have been researching ways to bring the helicopter program back online after the December crash that killed pilot Andy Olesen and flight nurses Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis. Their helicopter crashed in rural Lee County during a flight to pick up a critically-ill patient in Mendota.

Source:  http://www.rrstar.com

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