Kentucky helicopter crew was company's fourth team of three to die

vspears@herald-leader.comJune 7, 2013 

Air Evac EMS, which is listed as the operator of the helicopter that crashed in Manchester on Thursday, has had 16 accidents since 1998, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's searchable databases.

The Manchester crash was the company's fourth team of three crew members to die since 2007.

In nine of the 16 helicopter crash reports, nine people have been killed in three separate accidents, seven people have been seriously injured and two others suffered minor injuries, according to the database.

No injuries were reported in the other accidents, which includes one Cessna airplane, according to the database.

The last time a fatal Air Evac EMS helicopter crash occurred was in 2010 at Walnut Grove, Ark. All three crew members were killed when a Bell 206, built in 1978, went down, said company spokeswoman Julie Heavrin.

Another crash in Greensburg, Ind., in 2008 killed all three crew members, as did a crash in Cherokee, Ala., in 2007, Heavrin said.

The helicopter that crashed Thursday in Clay County was a Bell 206 L manufactured in 1980, according to NTSB records.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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