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Care Flight - Non-injury incident

Date: 06/01/15 2330 PST

Program: Care Flight
	450 Edison Way
	Reno, NV 89502

Type: AS350B3
Tail #: 904CF
Operator/Vendor: Air Methods

Weather: Clear. Not a factor

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

	At 2303 hrs Care Flight 1 (Reno base) was requested for a scene
	response. The crew responded to the aircraft and, per standard
	procedure, the walk-around and pre-departure checklist were completed
	and the crew departed for the dispatched location. Approximately
	fifteen minutes into the flight, after cresting a ridgeline, the pilot
	initiated a shallow descent from 8000 feet towards the location.
	Traveling at 120 knots, without warning, the aircraft experienced a
	series of sudden violent, vertical hops, causing the pilot door to
	come open and the night vision goggles of one of the medical staff
	members to detach from the mount. The door was secured. The pilot
	reduced speed to 60 knots which resulted in the aircraft becoming
	stable. AMRM was initiated immediately between all members of the
	crew. The hopping motion of the aircraft slowly abated over one to two
	minutes. The crew maintained vigorous AMRM, communicating with each
	other efficiently and decisively throughout the entire incident. The
	decision was made to continue to the nearest level place to land as
	long as the pilot felt aircraft controls were responding appropriately
	and control could be maintained. Approaching Reno, while in contact
	with both Air Traffic Control and the Care Flight Aircraft
	Communication Specialist, the pilot determined the helicopter was
	responding appropriately and the decision was made between the crew to
	continue to the Care Flight maintenance facility adjacent to the
	airport. Landing was completed without incident. All Care Flight staff
	members were notified of the occurrence, provided updated information
	and formally debriefed at a subsequent staff meeting. Further
	follow-up with each crew member will occur as needed to assure them of
	the organization?s ongoing commitment to safe operations.

Additional Info: 
	In 2014 a similar situation occurred with the same aircraft. After
	analysis was completed the cause was determined to be a faulty forward
	servo, which was replaced. The aircraft was inspected and returned to
	service with no further occurrences till this occurrence. The aircraft
	has been taken out of service and will remain so till a definite cause
	is determined and the issue is resolved.	 

Source: Temple Fletcher, Program Director

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 800 332 3123 or email:

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