CareFlite Air Ambulance Crashes in Texas

On June 2, 2010 at approximately 1400 central daylight time, a Bell 222U, multi-engine helicopter, N515MK, was destroyed after impacting terrain near Midlothian, Texas. The airline transport rated pilot and the mechanic, who were the only occupants, sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was owned and operated by CareFlite, Grand Prairie, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a company flight plan had been filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 return to service flight following maintenance that had been performed. The helicopter had departed the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport (GPM) Grand Prairie, Texas at approximately 1352, and had planned to return to GPM airport.

The helicopter was in cruise flight at approximately 600 feet above ground level (AGL) when several witnesses saw the tail boom and the main rotor system separate from the helicopter. The fuselage was destroyed in an immediate post-impact fire. The main rotor mast separated just below the head. The main rotor system including the hub and blade assembly, pitch change links, and walking beam assembly remained connected to the swash plate assembly and impacted terrain approximately 200 feet northeast of the main wreckage. The entire tail boom assembly separated just aft of the fuselage and impacted terrain approximately 400 feet northeast of the main wreckage.

The wreckage was removed to a secure storage facility for continued investigation.

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