The Air Evac company has released the names of the three people who died this morning when a medical helicopter crashed in Van Buren County.
Click here for more on the crash.
The chopper was based in Vilonia.
In a news release emailed to KARK for late this morning, the company said:
“This is a tragic day for us here at Air Evac Lifeteam,” said Air Evac Lifeteam President and CEO Seth Myers. “These were members of our family and we are devastated at this loss. Our focus at this time is on providing support for the family and friends of these crew members.”
The crew, which included (left to right) flight paramedic Gayla Gregory, flight nurse Kenneth Meyer, Jr., and pilot Kenneth Robertson, was en route to a scene flight at Crabtree. No patients were on board.
The cause of the accident is not yet known. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been notified and will begin their formal investigation.
The aircraft was Night Vision Goggle operational. Air Evac Lifeteam has an active safety program, including the use of flight simulators for scenario-based training of pilots, pilot risk matrix system to assess risk factors of every flight, terrain alert warning systems, XM satellite weather system on board the aircraft, and use of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) Weather Tool.
Air Evac Lifeteam, operated by Air Evac EMS, Inc., is the largest independently owned air medical provider in the United States. The company operates 93 bases in 14 states throughout the central United States. The Vilonia base has been in operation since February 2003.