Medical Flight Received Wrong Fuel Before Crash
Federal investigators have announced that an air ambulance that crashed in Las Cruces, New Mexico last received the incorrect fuel prior to take-off.
Aviation Accident Details Released in NTSB Report
According to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report cited by the Associated Press, the twin-engine plane was refueled with approximately 40 gallons of jet fuel instead of aviation gasoline prior to its departure from the Las Cruces airport on August. 27.
The plane was to transport a patient to Phoenix, Arizona; however, shortly after take-off, the place crashed roughly one mile south of Interstate 10 and caught fire. Among those killed in the crash were 29-year-old pilot Freddy Martinez, 27-year-old flight paramedic Tauren Summer, 35-year-old nurse Monica Chavez, and the 59-year-old patient, Fredrick Green.
While the NTSB report does not say whether the fueling mistake was the cause of the crash, it did state a crew member had called the dispatcher during flight to report that the plane would be returning to Las Cruces airport due to smoke coming out other the right engine.
A spokes person for the city of Las Cruces stated that the city does not operate fueling services at the airport. The company in charge of the operation, Southwest Aviation Inc., has not commented on the report.
The plane registered to Elite Medical Air Transport, of El Paso, Texas, and operated by Amigos Aviation Inc. of Harlingen, Texas
Aviation Accident Statistics – 2012
The following information was provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):
- In 2012, there were 1,539 civil aviation accidents recorded in the U.S.
- 280 of those accidents were fatal, leading to a total death toll of 447.
- The most common causes of aviation accidents in 2012 were:
- Pilot error
- Mechanical failure
- Other human error
- Fatal crashes were most common during the take-off and cruise phases of flight.