This could’ve gone South quick, but no one was hurt.
MANKATO, MINN. June 27, 2015— Disaster was averted at the Minnesota Air Spectacular, the Mayo One helicopter was started by a six year old child, knocking over a tent at around 2:00 pm on Saturday.
The Mayo Clinic released a press release on the incident:
Yesterday, June 27, 2015, at approximately 1:45pm, a Mayo One helicopter was inadvertently powered up by a member of the public while the aircraft was parked on static display at the Minnesota Air Spectacular in Mankato.
The Mayo One team quickly initiated shutdown procedures.
Two individuals suffered minor injuries when a nearby sun shade tipped over.
The Mayo One aircraft involved in the incident has been removed from service for inspection and maintenance, which is routine.
The safety of our patients, our team members and the general public is Mayo Clinic’s highest priority.
Mayo Clinic is conducting a thorough review and has proactively reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The aircraft involved was an EC145 Eurocopter. Details of the mishap are scare. There are some obvious questions to be asked. Why wasn’t the battery disconnected? Where was the pilot? Where was the parent? Many folks on social media are asking just how hard is it to start a helicopter? With the EC145 its VERY easy. Probably a selling point for the medivac community.
This is how you fire the sucker up:
The Mayo Clinic operates a medivac fleet composed of four helicopters (three EC145s and one back-up BK-117) and two Beechjet planes.
The last mishap involving a Mayo One helicopter was the crash of a Bell 206 on December 26, 2011. Killed in the crash were the pilot, heart surgeon Dr. Luis Bonilla and procurement technician David Hines. The NTSB ruled that weather was a contributing factor as was the fact the aircraft was not certified to fly in the weather conditions present at the time of the crash.