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Video indicates warning lights were working on Aurora tower - Aurora, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member cldisme
N 41° 46.101 W 088° 14.679
16T E 396547 N 4624805
Quick Description: An air ambulance crash kills the crew and the 1-year-old patient and new evidence shows warning lights where working prior to the crash.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 10/22/2008 1:00:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM50PY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Farkle 7
Views: 27

Long Description:
In the early morning of October 16, 2008, the 3 person crew (Ronald Battiato, William Mann, and Delbert Waugh) of the Air Angels helicopter ambulance were transporting 1-year-old Kristin Blockinger from a hospital in Sandwich, IL to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for treatment of seizures.

For reasons unknown at this time, Pilot Delbert Waugh was flying low enough for the helicopter to clip the support wire for the 749-foot radio tower seen in the default photo. The investigation has concluded the warning lights on the tower were working at the time of the accident based on security camera footage from a nearby commuter rail station.

The Chicago Tribune article from October 22, 2008 is available on-line for free for two weeks. A registration and retreival fee is required after that initial period.

Video indicates warning lights were working on Aurora tower
Aircraft hit a support wire a week ago, killing 4

By Jon Hilkevitch - Tribune reporter
October 22, 2008

Video shot by a security camera confirms that the warning lights on a radio tower in Aurora were functioning last week when an emergency medical helicopter hit one of the structure's support wires and crashed, the chief investigator into the fatal accident said Tuesday.

Authorities had hoped the camera, positioned at the Metra commuter parking lot at Illinois Highway 59, would have shown the Air Angels helicopter as it flew by last Wednesday night en route to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago from a hospital in Sandwich. All four aboard the chopper, including the 14-month-old patient, were killed in the crash.

The video shows lights on the tower blinking, said John Brannen, the investigator-in-charge with the National Transportation Safety Board.

"They cease blinking at the time of accident, 11:58 p.m.," Brannen said, citing radar data that helped authorities pin down the time.

The Metra station is several miles from the crash site, and the video images were not crisp enough to see an aircraft, he said.

Radar began tracking the helicopter about 8 miles after it departed Sandwich, Brannen said.

The radar plots are being analyzed, but so far the data show the chopper was flying level, at about 1,400 feet, when it hit the radio tower's guy wire, severing the main rotor, he said.
Type of publication: Newspaper

When was the article reported?: 10/22/2008

Publication: Chicago Tribune

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: regional

News Category: Crime

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