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NTSB Investigating Life Flight Crash

NTSB Investigating Life Flight Crash

Posted - Jun. 9, 2003 at 8:03 a.m.



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(KSL TV) The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating this weekend's Life Flight helicopter crash.

One man was killed and two others injured when the chopper went down in the hills above Salt Lake Saturday night.

The crew had just dropped off a hiker they had rescued in the Wasatch Mountains.

The survivors of the crash said that the chopper began to spin -- and that pilot Brent Cowley struggled with the spinning chopper, guiding it towards the safest crash zone.

Flight nurse Denise Ward says that as the helicopter was going down she thought of the fatal LifeFlight crash last January.

DENISE WARD/FLIGHT NURSE: "I WAS THINKING OF THE LAST CRASH, THINKING WHAT'S THE BEST POSITION I CAN BE IN TO AVOID SERIOUS INJURY. BUT I WAS ALSO THINKING OF MY SON (EMOTIONAL PAUSE) BECAUSE I WANTED TO LIVE FOR HIM."

In January's crash dense fog was though to be a factor -- but skies were clear at the time of Saturday's crash.

So the investigation likely will focus on mechanical issues.

BILL BUTTS/IHC FLIGHT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR: "WE BELIEVE WE HAVE A SAFE PROGRAM, WE BELIEVE OUR MAINTENANCE IS STATE OF THE ART."

Pilot Brent Cowley was killed instantly in the crash. He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

Both survivors of the crash say they're ready to fly again, once the green light is given to resume chopper flights.

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