Broken Down: LifeFlight Helicopter Grounded In Walnut Hill

May 4, 2013

A LifeFlight helicopter was grounded in Walnut Hill Thursday afternoon. The helicopter had responded to the Walnut Hill Fire Station on Highway 97 to transport a patient to Pensacola. Shortly after the helicopter lifted from the ground, it experienced a reported radio problem and aborted the flight. The patient was transported by ambulance to Pensacola with no additional complications.  The 2010 Eurocopter is operated by Air Methods for Baptist Health Care. photo, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Broken Down: LifeFlight Helicopter Grounded In Walnut Hill”

  1. William on May 4th, 2013 8:11 pm

    >>Radio problem? Unliklely

    Radio problem was the simple explanation…it’s my understand it lost all power to the radio systems….an electrical failure of some type, leading to concerns of a wider electrical system failure.

  2. wm on May 4th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Radio problem? Unliklely… I worked in air medical helicopter programs for 10 years. Each aircraft has multiple public safety and aviation radios on board. Even if the transponder that identifies the aircraft on air traffic control radar systems failed — you could fly without it to complete a mission after phone contact with the FAA approach control facility in Pensacola.

    Things such as an engine or transmission chip light that couldn’t be resolved could ground an aircraft. Such a “chip light” is tied to a sensor in the transmission or engine that picks up metal particles in the oil/fluid. Usually, you get a chance to “zap it” to see if it is a remote piece of fuzz — after that it means the engine or transmission is producing metal, a sign things are deteriorating inside.

    If the aircraft undergoes extensive maintenance on-site in Walnut Hill — or, if it leaves on the back of a flatbed trailer — my bet is on a mechanical problem rather than a communications problem….

    Maybe it was an electrical problem, rather than a radio problem? Something shorting out producing smoke or the smell of burning electrical in the cabin? A total loss of electical systems? The thermal runaway on the aircraft’s battery perhaps (similar to what has grounded Boeing’s 787 airliners recently)? All possibilities — but I assure you, it isn’t a simple “radio problem”.

  3. MQ on May 4th, 2013 10:28 am

    I like your comment puddin, but guess it is a learning thing for the adults … what do we do now!?! Glad the patient was ok.

  4. puddin on May 4th, 2013 7:06 am

    Was wondering what it was doing there. I thought maybe it was some sort of learning thing for the kids.

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