POSTED: Saturday, February 6, 2010 - 11:09am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:26pm
PICTURED: A helicopter similar to the one that crashed 20 km south of McGregor Range Base Camp. Courtesy: Omniflight.com
EL PASO--- Three people are dead after a helicopter crashed Friday night at McGregor Range, according to the helicoptor company's representatives.
Pilot William Montgomery and paramedics John Sutter and Anthony Archuleta were conducting a training exercise for a Southwest Med Evac helicopter on the Fort Bliss military reservation, when the chopper crashed upon landing around 7:30 p.m., according to Omniflight Helicopters representatives.
Fort Bliss contracts Southwest Med Evac, a unit of Omniflight Helicopters, for emergency medical services.
The crew was not transporting patients.
“The cause of the accident is unknown at this time,” said Anthony DiNota, president and COO of Omniflight Helicopters.
The crew was training for a simulated medical evacuation, as required by Fort Bliss.
"Right now, our focus is on the families who are experiencing this huge loss, and we are working with federal investigators to identify the cause,” said DiNota.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were notified and are investigating.
The weather was clear at the time of the accident and the pilot was in contact with military range control officers and the company’s communication center, read the Omniflight statement.
Representatives say the helicopter had night vision goggles, satellite navigation, radar altimeter and GPS.