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Mercy says it may receive new helicopter today

Mercy Air Med, photo taken in 2012
Mercy Air Med, photo taken in 2012

MASON CITY – Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa will be receiving a helicopter from Med-Trans as early as today, January 21, as a first step in resuming medical transportation air service.

The Mercy Air Med crew will be training and preparing the necessary medical equipment and supplies for medical transports. While Mercy – North Iowa is 100 percent dedicated to resuming this service; the date of reestablishing patient transportation is yet to be determined.

The helicopter which Mercy – North Iowa will receive will be temporarily placed at the hospital as the finishing details of Mercy –North Iowa’s permanent helicopter are being completed.

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Reading between the lines in the NTSB report, it sounds like the weather may have had a lot to do with the crash. I don’t know about helicopters but airplanes can no longer fly when their wings ice up.

Flying through a mist the temperature is right at freezing would cause icing. Much like what happens on your windshield when you are driving in freezing rain.

The chopper either had a major mechanical failure that would not let the rotors spin or they iced up and could not create lift.

It sounds like icing to me and the chopper just dropped like a rock to the ground. Otherwise with engine failure he could have used the blades to glide to the ground and not have a fatal crash.

The Bell 407 is a four-blade, single-engine, civil utility helicopter; a derivative of the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger. The 407 uses the four-blade, soft-in-plane design rotor with composite hub developed for the United States Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior instead of the two-blade, semi-rigid, teetering, rotor of the 206L-4. The Bell 407 is frequently used for corporate and offshore transport, as an air ambulance, law enforcement, electronic news gathering and movie making.

I hope it has two engines. I was told by someone who works in this field that the crashed Mercy copter had a single engine. Is this true? And that more medic choppers are going to duel engines for redundancy and safety.

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