Feds: Pilot in fatal crash tried to beat storm

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Associated Press

Posted on April 12, 2010 at 12:34 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Government investigators say a medical helicopter pilot was apparently trying to beat an approaching thunderstorm before a crash in Tennessee that killed him and two nurses.

The National Transportation Safety Board didn't rule on the cause of the March 25 crash in the preliminary report it issued Monday.

The helicopter operated by Hospital Wing crashed in a western Tennessee field after delivering a patient to a hospital. Stormy weather caused another company to decline a flight around the same time.

The NTSB report says a co-worker who talked to the crew by phone said they knew a thunderstorm was coming and thought they could land before it hit. The co-worker reported lightning and a loud clap of thunder right before the accident.

Investigators found no signs of a lightning strike in the debris.

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