NTSB Issues Report on 2011 Medical Helicopter Crash in Missouri

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the results of their investigation into a medical helicopter crash in Missouri nearly two years ago that left four people dead.
On August 26, 2011, a Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter operated by Air Methods was on an EMS mission when it crashed outside of Mosby, Missouri. Four people, including the pilot, a flight paramedic, a flight nurse and a patient were killed in the crash. In the aftermath, investigators found that the chopper lost power after running out of fuel miles away from where they were scheduled to land.

In their report issued on April 9, 2013, the NTSB said the pilot's poor decision to carry on with the mission "despite a critically low fuel level" directly contributed to the crash. Furthermore, the pilot's lack of ability to perform an emergency autorotation maneuver after the helicopter ran out of fuel drastically reduced the chances of landing the aircraft safely.
The report also said that the pilot's cell phone records showed activity during a time when he was supposed to be making critical decisions about whether or not to carry on with the mission, knowing that fuel levels on the aircraft were low. Though it is unclear whether the pilot was using his cell phone when the helicopter lost power, NTSB stated that the cell phone was "a source of distraction that likely contributed to errors and poor decision-making."

The investigation culminated with the NTSB making several safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).