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Air St. Luke's - Non-injury incident



Date: April 3, 2009 2210 MDT

Program: Air St. Luke's
	190 E Bannock Street
	Boise, ID  83712

Type: Bell 430
Tail #: N431SL
Operator/Vendor: Idaho Helicopters, Inc.

Weather: Snow, Low Visibility

Team: Pilot, Flight Nurse, Flight Paramedic. No injuries reported. No patient. 

Description: 
	On a return night flight from Salt Lake City to Twin Falls,Idaho, Air
	St. Luke's encountered low visibility weather conditions and a
	simultaneous loss of satellite tracking and communications.  Available
	weather checks prior to departing Salt Lake International showed an
	isolated cell over Burley, Idaho. When the helicopter crested a
	mountain pass, they encountered low visibility conditions.  The pilot
	was under NVG.  The pilot climbed to 6100 ft and initiated steps for
	an ILS approach to Twin Falls, Idaho, but shortly broke out into clear
	skies.  At approximately the same time, Sky Connect satellite tracking
	and phone communications were lost.  Dispatch transitioned tracking to
	Idaho State Communications Center.  There was also a failure of the
	state microwave tower in the area, so EMS radio communication could
	not be established.  Cell phone communication was successfully
	established within 10 minutes.  The Safety Committee is conducting a
	seperate  analysis and action plan regarding both the weather
	encounter and the satellite and radio communications failures.
	

Source: Michael McGrane, Program Director

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The CONCERN network shares verified information to alert medical transport
programs when an accident / incident has occurred. Please share the above
information with your program staff. If you have further questions, please
contact the CONCERN Coordinator, David Kearns at 800 525 3712 or email:
coordinator@concern-network.org.

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