MACON COUNTY, NC — LIFE FORCE 6 crashed in Macon County, North Carolina while transporting a patient Thursday evening, Erlanger Health System confirms. There were 3 crew members onboard.
Macon County 911 Communications Supervisor Todd Seagle said a call declaring an emergency came in about 7 p.m., and, moments after the call ended, the helicopter went down.
Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks says the helicopter was traveling from eastern Tennessee to Mission Hospital when it crashed along Middle Burningtown Road with four people onboard.
Holbrooks confirmed all four were alive, with three people involved in the crash transported by ground ambulance to Mission Hospital with minor to moderate injuries and the other transported to Angel Medical Center for evaluation.
The pilot was not transported.
Macon County Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe says there was no fire, but the aircraft sustained severe damage.
A section of Middle Burningtown Road will be closed until at least late in the day Friday as investigators sift through the wreckage and work to determine the cause of the crash, Cabe said.
The Erlanger Health System spokesperson said only preliminary details were available, but that this is the first crash in the LIFE FORCE program’s 34-year history.
According to LIFE FORCE Air Medical, the company began operating out of Andrews, N.C., in August 2017, when it opened a base at the Western North Carolina Airport.
LIFE FORCE operates two air-bus helicopters out of the base.
Our sister station WLOS has a crew on the way to the scene.