After Elko Plane Crash, Air Medical Support Comes From Competitors

Dec 6, 2016

The recent crash of an air ambulance plane in Elko killed all four passengers on board and took a multi-million dollar aircraft out of service.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick checked in with the company that operated the plane to see what’s next.

The destroyed plane was one of five operated by American Medflight, and this was the first fatal incident the company has seen.

President and CEO Jeff Burruel says after the crash, the company grounded all planes until they were fully inspected and pilots were re-trained in low to the ground emergency situations.

“We didn’t allow an airplane to fly in life-saving capacity until it had been inspected," he says. "We didn’t allow the pilots to go back up and fly until they had been through that emergency procedures training.”

During that process, the company received support from competitors, including Donna Miller, owner of Life Guard International Flying ICU in Las Vegas.

“We took an airplane and a team that were based in central Nevada," she says. "This way we were centrally-located to respond to any needs they would have from any of their bases.”

The crash is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which a spokesperson says typically takes a year to 18 months to complete.