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NTSB investigates Colo. Flight for Life helicopter crash

3-person crew was flying to a camp to teach kids about EMS helicopter operations and had just taken off

DENVER — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash of a medical helicopter which had just taken off from a Frisco, Colo. hospital to fly to a camp to teach kids about EMS helicopter operations.

The Flight for Life helicopter crash happened just after takeoff from Saint Anthony Summit hospital on Friday afternoon. The fiery explosion killed Patrick Mahany, 64, a Flight for Life pilot since 1987, reported KDVR Two other crew members are receiving treatment for their injuries.

“We’ll focus on three areas: The man, the machine and the environment,” said Jennifer Rodi, NTSB investigator. “We’ll look into the pilot’s experience. We’re aware he has years of experience both military and civilian.”

Investigators believe weather conditions were relatively calm. The NTSB is looking into what happened about one hundred feet in the air, seconds into the flight.

“The helicopter appears to be in flight for no more than 20 seconds; it lifts off and shortly after lifting off, it starts to rotate and continues to spin several times before impacting the ground,” Rodi said.

“This is an extremely difficult time. It’s always hard when you lose anybody whether it be a family or individual in an accident, but when you lose somebody who puts their life on the line everyday, it’s even tougher,” Rodi said.

The Flight for Life helicopter had been in operation at Saint Anthony Summit since last August. This is the first crash involving a medical chopper since 2007.

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