Fixed-wing medical transport crashes: Characteristics associated with fatal outcomes

Daniel A. Handel, Thomas R. Yackel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Previous studies within the aeromedical literature have looked at factors associated with fatal outcomes in helicopter medical transport, but no analysis has been conducted on fixed-wing aeromedical flights. The purpose of this study was to look at fatality rates in fixed-wing aeromedical transport and compare them with general aviation and helicopter aeromedical flights. Methods: This study looked at factors associated with fatal outcomes in fixed-wing aeromedical flights, using the National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Incident Database from 1984 to 2009. Results: Fatal outcomes were significantly higher in medical flights (35.6 vs. 19.7%), with more aircraft fires (20.3 vs. 10.5%) and on-ground collisions (5.1 vs. 2.0%) compared with commercial flights. Aircraft fires occurred in 12 of the 21 fatal crashes (57.1%), compared with only 2 of the 38 nonfatal crashes (5.3%) (P < .001). In the multiple logistic regression model, the only factor with increased odds of a fatal outcome was the presence of a fire (56.89; 95% CI, 4.28-808.23). Conclusions: Similar to published studies in helicopter medical transport, postcrash fires are the primary factor associated with fatal outcomes in fixed-wing aeromedical flights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalAir Medical Journal
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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