A medical helicopter that just picked up a patient clipped a power line in Council Bluffs last night while lifting off from the scene of an incident. The pilot was able to set the craft down safely with no injuries. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the Life Net helicopter was dispatched around 6 P.M. to pick up a man who’d fallen off a ladder and transport him to Creighton University Hospital in Omaha.
The sheriff says the accident happened just as the copter was beginning to take off. Danker says the aircraft swung around and the tail rotor clipped a power line, which caused a loud “pop” and a blue flame. The chopper landed safely on the ground. Sparks from the power line, owned by Mid-American Energy, caused a small brush fire near the scene of the incident. Danker says the victim of the fall ended-up being transported by ambulance to the hospital.
The power line was repaired, but Danker says repairs to the helicopter were delayed until the damage could be assessed. “The company that owns the helicopter sent a mechanic out to examine it,” he says. “I thought they might let it take off last night but they didn’t, they were going to wait to check it further so it’s still sitting there.” The sheriff says the chopper is owned by Air Methods, an Englewood, Colorado-based company, with offices located in Onawa, Iowa.
Contributed by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic