Three die in a donor mission helicopter crash

by nph | December 28th, 2011

December 28, 2011

“Donor missions rank among the most dangerous missions,” said Gary Robb, author of the book Helicopters Crash Litigation. “When an organ is harvested, you gotta go,” he said.  He also added that donor helicopter are usually heavier because of the number of people involved and the equipment needed to carry the organ.

Three people died on Monday morning shortly before 6 a.m. when their helicopter crashed in route from Jacksonville, Florida, to Gainesville, Florida, to retrieve a heart for a patient at Mayo Clinic, reports Jacksonville.com.

The crash killed a 49-year-old Mayo cardiac surgeon, a 57-year-old procurement technician, and a 67-year-old SK Jets (a private company that charters jets and helicopters) president.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those involved in this tragedy,” said William Rupp, vice president of Mayo Clinic and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “This is a great loss to the Mayo Clinic family and the transplant community.”

Because of the crash, the heart never made it to Mayo. “The window closed on using that organ,” said Mayo spokesman Layne Smith.

The cause of the crash remains unknown. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the crash site Monday evening to begin their investigation.

What could have caused this helicopter crash?

Read more.

If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft or helicopter, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.