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The Nation

October 12, 1987

Pilots said competitive pressures, weather and poor equipment were the major causes of safety problems for medical evacuation helicopters, a Pittsburgh newspaper reported. The Press said in a copyright story that it asked 251 pilots flying Emergency Medical Service missions to cite leading causes of helicopter safety problems. The report said 82 people have died and 57 were injured in 50 non-military medical rescue helicopter accidents since 1972. Thirty-three percent of the respondents said competitive pressure posed the biggest threat to safety. Employers, hospital administrators and fellow crew members pressured pilots to fly medical rescue missions when either weather, the mission or the aircraft was potentially unsafe, the report said.

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