Friday, January 20, 2017

Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II, N779MF, American Medflight Inc: Fatal accident occurred November 18, 2016 near Elko Regional Airport (KEKO), Nevada

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA024
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2016 in Elko, NV
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31T, registration: N779MF
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 18, 2016, about 1920 Pacific standard time, a twin-engine, turbine powered, Piper PA-31T "Cheyenne II" airplane, N779MF, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb from the Elko Regional Airport, Elko, Nevada. The pilot, two medical crewmembers and one patient sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was being operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) air transport medical flight by American Med Flight, Inc. under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an FAA instrument flight plan was filed but had not been activated for the intended flight to Salt Lake City, Utah.

During a telephone conversation with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, a witness located at the Elko Airport, reported that the airplane departed runway 06. During the initial climb, he stated that the airplane made an initial left turn about 30 degrees from the runway heading, then stopped climbing and made an abrupt left bank and descended out of his line of sight. 

The airplane impacted into a parking lot about .5 miles from the departure end of the runway, and immediately burst into flames. Several secondary explosions happened after impact as a result of fire damage to medical compressed gas bottles and several vehicles that were consumed by the post impact fire. The airplane sustained extensive thermal damage from the postcrash fire. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location, and detailed examinations of the airframe and engines are pending.

The closest weather reporting facility is the Elko Regional Airport (EKO). At 1856, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at EKO reported wind 110 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies; temperature 33 degrees F; dew point 19 degrees F; altimeter 30.11 inHg.

Tiffany Urresti, Flight Nurse

 Captain Yuji Irie 

Flight paramedic Jake Shepherd

Patient Edward Clohesey

Elko police officer Michael O’Farrell received two awards for his service in 2016.

ELKO – Nineteen officers and other staff of the Elko Police Department were recognized for their work over the past year during a recent ceremony in the Great Basin College Theatre.

Detective Cpl. Josh Morrell was named officer of the year, officer Christopher Ballesteros was named rookie of the year, and five officers received police medals for their exceptional service.

“We are very proud of the significant accomplishments and courageous acts of our Elko Police employees throughout the year,” said Police Chief Ben Reed. “This is the one time each year we stop to reflect and honor the outstanding accomplishments exhibited by a very dedicated group of men and women.”

Officer Michael O’Farrell received both a police life saving medal and an exemplary performance award.

O’Farrell and police Sgt. Jason Pepper were recognized for their response to the American Medflight plane crash on Nov. 18.

“I was the first officer on the scene,” O’Farrell told the Free Press. “Sgt. Pepper was right behind me. We went up to clear the area and the plane was fully engulfed with flames; there wasn’t really anything we could do as far as the plane, pilot, passengers. But there was a lot of people, civilians in the parking lot, so we basically just went up to remove them from the site to make sure there wasn’t any further casualties caused by the accident.

“And while we were up in the area there was a secondary explosion that went off. I think they later deduced that is was the aviation oxygen tanks,” O’Farrell added. “… It was a big flash and it staggered both of us. I didn’t actually go down but -- whiplash pretty bad. They diagnosed us with a concussion. My ears still ring.”

The crash killed the pilot and four passengers. Aside from the two officers there were no injuries on the ground.

“It wasn’t anything I ever expected to get any kind of recognition for,” O’Farrell said. “I was just doing my job.”

The life saving medal was for O’Farrell’s response to a report of an unconscious man who was not breathing at a local motel. He performed CPR, restoring the man’s pulse before he was taken to the hospital, where he recovered.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.