Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another medical helicopter went down this weekend

The Capital Times of Madison, WI posted breaking news about the crash of a University of Wisconsin Med Flight helicopter and the sadness that has enveloped the medical community there.

The Winona (Minnesota) Daily news posted video footage of a press conference and of the crash site

One interesting comment found in the Madison paper is from the owner of the ship that went down:
Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods, said using night vision goggles would be an asset for helicopter pilots, and the company has a commitment to outfit all 350 aircraft it owns with goggles, and make the necessary modifications to the aircraft, over a five-year period.

"We want to get them into all of our aircraft but the logistics of taking aircraft out of service to outfit them with the equipment takes time," he said.

Yale said the company is two years into the five year night vision goggle plan.

Another problem is availability of night vision goggles.

"The availability is real low, because most of the goggles are going to Afghanistan and Iraq," Yale said. "Everybody is trying to get them as quickly as they can."

The issue of helicopter safety is a hot one. We'll be hearing more about this. For now though we should grieve. This article about Mark Coyne paints a portrait of a fellow provider, a passionate educator--and even a Jimmy Buffett fan.

I'll raise a Margarita glass for Mark Coyne, and for Dr. Darren Bean and pilot Steve Lipperer. All made the ultimate sacrifice.

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