Life Flight Returns to the Air

Life Flight Returns to the Air

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Jill Atwood reporting LifeFlight crews are flying once again, doing their best to get operations back to normal.

The return to the air followed the confirmation that a key component to the tail rotor failed, causing Lifeflight's deadly crash ten days ago.

That component is called the trunion, and it was completely spit in half.

Today that part is being sent back to Washington to be examined, but as far as the investigation here, it is complete and Lifeflight has been given the green light.

LifeFlight made a run to Logan yesterday and took several more calls today.

Lifeflight crews seem eager to put the last week behind them..and get back to their patients.

"The crew had been wanting to do that, get back in the air. I think they feel good to be back at work and doing what they do best, which is saving lives."

Preliminary findings into the cause of the crash show just what investigators suspected. A major failure to the key component in the tail rotor called a trunion.

During takeoff, the trunion broke in half right down the middle causing the rear rotor to separate from the aircraft. Both pieces were found in last Saturday's search.

standard Jess Gomez/LDS Hospital: "In working with the investigative team and the manufacturer, they are unaware of this every happening before."

Bill Butts/Lifeflight Director of Operations "There was really no inspection that the pilot wouldn't have been able to look at to be able to determine this type of failure. This was virtually one in a million."

The director of operations says all their other aircraft have been carefully looked at with careful emphasis on the trunion, all have been given the thumbs up.

"We've done everything that we can possibly do based on suggestions from the manufacturer and the NTSB and the FAA. We've gone over above and beyond what they asked us to do before we put these aircraft back in service."

This trunion is a part that has logged more than a million hours of flight time over the last 25 years, so it will be interesting to see what investigators find out.

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