UPDATE: NTSB reveals new details in fatal medical chopper crash in Ohio

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VINTON COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP, WSAZ, AP) - UPDATE: 02/12/2019

Image: Ohio State Highway Patrol

Authorities have released new details about the final flight of a medical helicopter that crashed in Vinton County, Ohio, killing all 3 people on board, on January 29, 2019.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Survival Flight medical helicopter, which was flying from Mount Carmel Hospital in Grove City, Ohio to pick up a patient at Holzer Meigs Hospital in Pomeroy, Ohio, made a right turn about 15 minutes after taking off.

The NTSB says the helicopter then made "a sharp left turn," before tracking software indicated a problem and a "no-tracking alarm" was activated.

Investigators say the debris path at the crash scene near Lake Hope State Park, stretched about 600 feet.

The crash killed pilot Jennifer Topper and nurses Bradley Haynes and Rachel Cunningham.

A public memorial service was held for all three victims on Feb. 6 at a church in Grove City, Ohio.

A recent report by the Columbus Dispatch found that two medical flight companies - West Virginia-based HealthNet Aeromedical Services and Columbus-based MedFlight - each refused to transport the patient that day, because the weather conditions did not meet each company's minimum standards to fly safely.


UPDATE: 02/06/2019

A memorial was held Wednesday for three people killed in a medical helicopter crash near Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County, Ohio on January 29.

Pilot Jennifer Topper and nurses Bradley Haynes and Rachel Cunningham died after their Survival Flight helicopter crashed while en-route to pick up a patient at Holzer Meigs Hospital in Pomeroy, Ohio to take them to a Columbus hospital.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a public memorial service was held Wednesday morning at a church in Grove City, Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch previously reported West Virginia-based HealthNet Aeromedical Services and Columbus-based MedFlight each refused to transport the patient that day, because the weather conditions did not meet each company's minimum standards to fly safely.


UPDATE: 02/02/19

A newspaper reports two air-medical companies opted not to accept an assignment to transport a patient over concerns about the weather before a helicopter owned by a third medevac company crashed in southern Ohio, killing the pilot and two flight nurses.

The Columbus Dispatch reports West Virginia-based HealthNet Aeromedical Services and Columbus-based MedFlight were contacted Tuesday morning to transport a patient from Holzer Meigs Hospital in Pomeroy, Ohio, to a Columbus hospital.

A Survival Flight helicopter crashed around 7 a.m. Tuesday in state forestland in Vinton County.

MedFlight's president and CEO told the newspaper that conditions on Tuesday didn't meet the company's minimum standards to fly.

HealthNet Aeromedical said atmospheric conditions fell below "published operational weather minimums."

The crash killed pilot Jennifer Topper and nurses Bradley Haynes and Rachel Cunningham.


UPDATE: 1/29/2019, 4:08 p.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has publicly identified the 3 people killed in a medical helicopter crash Tuesday near Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County.

The flight crew has been identified as Pilot Jennifer L. Topper, 34, of Sunbury; flight nurses Bradley J. Haynes, 48, of London and Rachel L. Cunningham, 33, of Galloway.

The OSHP says at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, Survival Flight notified them that it had lost communication with one of their medical helicopters that was flying from Mount Carmel Hospital in Grove City, Ohio to Holzer Meigs Hospital in Pomeroy, Ohio.

OSHP Troopers from the Jackson County Post, the OSHP Special Response Team and OSHP Aviation Unit searched the area of the helicopter's last known location.

At approximately 10:16 a.m., OSHP Troopers found the wreckage of a Bell 407 medical helicopter, east of Ohio State Route 278 and south of King Hollow Trail in Brown Township.

There were no patients on the helicopter at the time of the crash, and there were no reported injuries to anyone in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration and other authorities are on scene investigating the cause of the crash.

Agencies that responded to the crash scene include the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Sheriff's Offices of Vinton, Meigs and Jackson counties, Vinton County Emergency Management Agency; Vinton County Coroner's Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


UPDATE: 1/29/2019, 2:50 p.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released new details on a medical helicopter crash that killed 3 people Tuesday near Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County.

The OSHP says at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, Survival Flight notified them that it had lost communication with one of their medical helicopters that was flying from Mount Carmel Hospital in Grove City, Ohio to Holzer Meigs Hospital in Pomeroy, Ohio.

OSHP Troopers from the Jackson County Post, the OSHP Special Response Team and OSHP Aviation Unit searched the area of the helicopter's last known location.

At approximately 10:16 a.m., OSHP Troopers found the wreckage of a Bell 407 medical helicopter, east of Ohio State Route 278 and south of King Hollow Trail in Brown Township.

Three flight crew members on the helicopter were killed.

There were no patients on the helicopter at the time of the crash, and there were no reported injuries to anyone in the area.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and authorities are not releasing the names of the victims until their families can be notified.

Agencies that responded to the crash scene include the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Sheriff's Offices of Vinton, Meigs and Jackson counties, Vinton County Emergency Management Agency; Vinton County Coroner's Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


ORIGINAL STORY: 1/29/2019, 11:06 a.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirms 3 people have died after the medical helicopter they were in crashed Tuesday at Lake Hope State Park, near Zaleski, Ohio.

Troopers say the first 911 call about the crash came in around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

WTAP has a reporter heading to the scene and will update this story as new details become available, on our evening newscasts, at WTAP.com and on the "WTAP Now" Mobile App.


Image: Ohio State Highway Patrol
Image: Ohio State Highway Patrol