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Maryland State Police Have Come A Long Way Since Medevac Crash

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The National Transportation Board says Maryland State Police have come a long way in addressing their concerns over a Medevac helicopter crash a year ago that killed four people.

NTSB investigators found several causes for the crash near District Heights, Maryland in September 2008. The weather was bad, and the pilot didn't perform a risk assessment. Maryland State Police did not require him to. The police also had slashed their training requirements, so the pilot hadn't been trained for the conditions he faced in almost two years. NTSB Board Members called the deficiencies unacceptable and mind boggling, but said police have addressed most of the concerns since the crash.

"They have designed new flight risk assessments, they implemented new training requirements for the pilots," said Chief Investigator Corky Smith. The state police also now use doctors to decide whether to use helicopters at all.

"Through that medical intervention in the process we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of helicopter transports in the state of Maryland," said Investigator Jason Fedok.

Investigators say an ambulance on site could have taken the victims to the hospital just as quickly as the helicopter.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...

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