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Life Flight helicopter pilot Brent Cowley- EMS LODD

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  • Life Flight helicopter pilot Brent Cowley- EMS LODD

    My sincere condolences go out to the Cowley family. May Brent rest in everlasting peace!

    By PATTY HENETZ
    Associated Press Writer
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - After successfully hoisting a dehydrated
    hiker from a mountain trail, Life Flight helicopter pilot Brent
    Cowley wanted to go back up to see how high the chopper had flown
    during the rescue.
    "We were elated it went so well," flight nurse Denise Ward
    said Sunday. But minutes after Cowley lifted off Saturday night,
    "there was a loud noise, and immediately the helicopter started
    spinning," she said.
    The Agusta K-2 helicopter crashed in the foothills above the
    Salt Lake Valley, killing Cowley, 49, and injuring Ward, 42, and
    paramedic Brian Allred, 34.
    Cowley, a 22-year flight veteran, was a retired U.S. Army pilot
    who flew missions in Mogadishu, Somalia. He had worked for Life
    Flight since 1999. He and his wife, Cheryl, of Farmington, have
    seven children.
    Ward, of Salt Lake City, suffered only scrapes and bruises. She
    said during a Sunday news briefing that she climbed out of the
    chopper's nose area, which was destroyed. She called the flight
    dispatch center to report the crash and ask how to shut down the
    helicopter's engines.
    When paramedics arrived, "I told them to attend to Brian, that
    he was hurt, and Brent was dead," Ward said.
    Cowley died on impact, she said.
    Allred's left elbow was dislocated and he suffered heavy bruises
    and scrapes. "We hit," said Allred, also a Salt Lake City
    resident. "The next thing I remember was Denise's voice, like an
    angel, saying 'are you all right?' "
    Both survivors said they were certain Cowley had done everything
    possible to land safely.
    "I believe he saved my life," said Allred. "There is no doubt
    in my mind."
    It was the second Life Flight helicopter crash in six months.
    The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation
    Administration are investigating both crashes, said LDS Hospital
    spokesman Jess Gomez.
    The helicopter crashed Saturday near 5600 South and Wasatch
    Boulevard between 8:11 and 8:14 p.m., according to dispatch logs.
    Witnesses on the ground said it appeared something flew off the
    tail as it went down.
    Gomez and Life Flight director Bill Butts said they couldn't
    speculate or comment on the witnesses accounts.
    A University of Utah hospital AirMed helicopter flew Allred to
    LDS Hospital; Ward was taken by ambulance.
    Life Flight has been using hoist mechanisms in rescue operations
    for three years, Butts said. It is the only civil organization that
    uses hoists for rescues, he said.
    The 20-year-old woman the crew plucked off Mount Olympus was
    taken to a command center and evaluated. From there, she was taken
    by ambulance to a hospital.
    Asked whether it was necessary to use a helicopter to rescue a
    dehydrated hiker, Gomez said Life Flight never questions the
    agencies - in this case, Salt Lake County search and rescue - that
    request help.
    "They call us. We respond," he said.
    Life Flight's helicopter operations have been voluntarily
    suspended for an undetermined time. Life Flight will continue
    limited fixed-wing services. AirMed services also remain available
    for medical rescues.
    Life Flight helicopter pilot Craig Bingham and paramedic Mario
    Guerrero died in a Jan. 10 crash in dense fog near the Salt Lake
    City airport. Nurse Stein Rosqvist was seriously injured.
    The helicopter was en route to Wendover to pick up a car wreck
    victim. When the pilot determined the fog was too thick to proceed
    safely, the chopper turned back and sought to land at the airport.
    The cause of the crash hasn't been determined, but fire officials
    at the time said the dense fog may have disoriented the pilot.
    January's crash was the first major accident in the nearly
    25-year history of LDS' Life Flight, Gomez said. Helicopter
    operations were suspended for eight days.
    That craft also was a two-engine Agusta K-2, made in Italy and
    designed for high-altitude flights and extreme weather conditions.
    The helicopters cost $4 million each.
    Gomez said Sunday there was no apparent connections between the
    two crashes.
    Butts said that after the January crash, trainers "shored up"
    Life Flight instructions, but there were no major changes in the
    program.
    A helicopter to replace the one lost in January is expected by
    June 30, Gomez said.
    The craft that crashed Saturday was nine years old, and had
    logged 4,800 flight hours, Butts said.
    Life Flight helicopters undergo routine inspections every 25
    hours. At 2,400 hours, the aircraft are "virtually disassembled,"
    inspected and reassembled; the helicopter that crashed Saturday had
    been through that maintenance process twice, Butts said.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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