KRQE News 13 (Albuquerque, NM) reports that the National Transportation Safety Board  (“NTSB”) has released its final report regarding the July 16, 2022 crash of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office “Metro 2” helicopter.  The crash happened near Las Vegas, New Mexico, and killed all four persons on board.

According to the NTSB, the probable cause of the accident was “poor maintenance.”

The NTSB’s final report stated that the starter-generator input gear failed due to fatigue, which led to shearing of the starter-generator driveshaft, seizure of the accessory gearbox seizure, and a subsequent total loss of engine power.  The report further stated that autorotation (a maneuver used to control rotary-winged aircraft in the event of engine failure) was unsuccessful due to flying directly into the setting sun and high-density altitude, and was a contributing factor in the crash.

The KRQE News 13 report may be read full HERE.

FGGAM acquired a copy of the NTSB’s Final Report, No. CEN22FA317, published June 12, 2024, which may be viewed and/or downloaded HERE.

AOL News reports that BCSO spokeswoman Jayme Gonzales provided a statement to the press saying, in part, that when Sheriff John Allen assumed office in 2023, he grounded BCSO’s Metro Air Support Unit (“MASU”) once again (as it had been previously reinstated in November 2022 under the previous sheriff), and initiated a review and overhaul of all operational procedures to enhance safety and effectiveness.  This included new and revised standard operating guidelines, and acquiring new aircraft that “[meet] the highest safety standards.”  Gonzales stated that the MASU was relaunched in December 2023, with “increased safety measures, including adding an extra pilot and mechanic.”

The AOL News article may be read HERE.

My brothers and sisters, as is almost always the case, human error, whether through an act of commission or omission involving maintenance procedures, or the lack of investigative curiosity (e.g., finding metal in the oil but not pursuing probable causation), especially when combined with other unpredictable factors, so often leads to tragedy.  And, when aircraft are involved, there is very little to no room for error!

Flying is an inherently tricky and dangerous undertaking, so the cutting of any corners (e.g., maintenance, check list usage, training deficiencies) will eventually become evident.

The family members of Larry Koren, Fred Beers, Michael Levison, and Matthew King almost certainly continue to feel the loss of their loved ones – at least on this side of heaven.  We at FGGAM will never forget the selfless acts of public service given by all four of these men, who perished in service to us, as they coordinated fire fighting efforts during the 2022 East Mesa Fire.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, knows our pain and sorrows.  In fact, the bible declares God to be the “Father of mercies and God of all comfort!  Amen!

Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)
“Blessed are those who mourn, [f]or they shall be comforted.”

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NKJV)
Comfort in Suffering
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”.

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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