The Chicago Tribune has a lengthy follow-up article on the dangers/hazards of medical helicopter flights following Monday’s fatal crash:

About 400,000 patients are transported in the U.S. each year by emergency medical helicopters, a vital and expanding service that has seen more than 100 fatalities since 2003, including three deaths Monday in Illinois.

That accident record is unacceptable, the National Transportation Safety Board says.

The job of helicopter emergency medical crew member ranks as the highest-risk occupation based on death rates — more dangerous than deep-sea fisherman, logger and nine other hazardous jobs — according to a study a few years ago by Dr. Ira Blumen of the University of Chicago Hospitals.

The safety board has urged the Federal Aviation Administration in recent years to mandate safety improvements for the air ambulance industry in place of voluntary compliance, an FAA strategy that critics say has not been effective enough. Broad inconsistencies still exist in pilot training, the degree of safety-related communications and navigation equipment aboard helicopter medical fleets and flight standards employed by independent operators that are hired mostly by hospitals, investigations into numerous accidents have shown.

Read the entire article HERE.

thanks Chris