Man Killed by Model Helicopter
Not to get off subject here. But, this was just sent to us by a close firend who is the newsletter editor for IRCHA (International RC Helicopter Association - Richard McKenna). This accident was probably one of the larger 60 size glow machines. But, it should remind us all to be safe out there. These things can hurt you. Read on, its true story:
Carl. I regret to inform you that a model helicopter accident yesterday
afternoon at Tom Bass Model Airplane Park resulted in the death of Mr Ronald Kyle,
AMA 687362. I was notified of the accident by Mr Craig Campbell, Park Manager.
Harvey Duck AMA 2812
Man killed by model helicopter
07:01 AM CST on Monday, November 3, 2003
By Jeremy Desel / Channel 11 News
HOUSTON -- A bizarre accident with a model helicopter killed a Houston man Sunday afternoon.
The victim was watching the radio-controlled aircraft at Tom Bass Park in southwest Harris County.
"They can get up to some pretty high speeds," said Sgt. Hudson with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
Traffic was grounded after the accident as sheriff's investigators tried to figure out what happened to cause the death of 41-year-old Ronald Kyle of southwest Houston.
"He was going through some flight maneuvers with the helicopter and he turned the controls over to the student and the helicopter got away from him," said Hudson.
Kyle was an instructor.
The student, who police did not identify, owns the model involved in the incident.
Its 2-inch wide blades are made of fiberglass, but the engine spins with enough power to make them dangerous -- especially if the craft gets out of control -- which appeared to be the case Sunday.
"Came back toward the two individuals and the helicopter struck the deceased in the throat area," said Hudson.
The impact of the crash killed Kyle almost immediately.
Investigators say the man operating the helicopter had been in one of this areas ten chapters of the Academy of Model Aeronautics for about nine months. That organization has more than 170,000 members nationwide.
We are told the student was working toward a flight certification -- but had yet to complete it.
There are designated areas for flying and for watching at the park. Both men were in the operations area at the time.
Mr. Kyle is a current AMA member. He joined AMA July 17, 2000. He was a member of the South Houston Area Radio Control Society, AMA Chartered Club 3271. The club has been chartered since 1992 and has insurance for Tom Bass Park.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 6:32 AM
To: Carl Maroney
Cc: Lois Pierce
Subject: AMA CLUB 3271
Condolences to his family and may He have mercy on Ron's soul.
From what I have seen, the newly reimplemented 911 system of Harris County is partly to blame. This is not the first problem with the new system but its one of the more tragic ones. There are plenty of Level I trauma centers within 10 minutes of the field and Harris County is served by one of the largest air ambulance fleets in the country. Its inexcusable a LEO could not request a dust off especially with a medical professional attending. Even a surgical tech should have the necessary creditentials to request an air ambulance but in that county, only EMS is authorized to call for an air ambulance.
Condolences to his family, friends and club mates. This is an awful thing.
Wow. Makes you look at your fleet with newfound respect.
In our system, the police do not have the absolute authority to call for a helicopter either. But if the police arrive on scene and report a significant trauma, then the fire/rescue dispatcher will launch one pending arrival of EMS.
That said, if the trauma center is only 10 minutes away, it is actually faster to load and go than to wait for the helo to arrive, land, report off to the flight medic, load, and take off again.
Paramedic District Chief
Reading the runryder thread is one of the saddest R/C related things Ihave ever done.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, I would like to issue the following challenge to each and every flyer here:
What preparations have been made where you fly?
Could you describe the location of your field to a 911 dispatcher right now if you had to?
Is there a first aid kit at your field? If so, do you know how to use it?
If you cannot answer these questions, please take a moment to find out the answers. God forbid, but someday one of your friends' lives could depend on it.
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