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Md. sues U.S., calls air controllers negligent in medevac copter crash

4 killed when craft operated by state police went down in 2008

January 13, 2011|By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

Bunker told the Andrews controller that he was "not picking up the glidescope," an instrument landing system that provides vertical guidance to aircraft approaching a runway. "Trooper 2, roger, uh, it's showing green on the panel but, uh, you're the only aircraft we've had in a long time, so I don't really know if it's working or not," the controller replied, according to a transcript.

The pilot then asked for an approach using Airport Surveillance Radar, which would enable the controller to use ground-based radar to provide guidance to the runway. "I don't have anybody to do that," she responded. "I'm not current on that. I can't do it."

After that comment, the controller "neither inquired as to the pilot's intentions nor did she render, or attempt to render, any other assistance to Trooper 2," the lawsuit says.

Moments later, the helicopter crashed in a District Heights park, about three miles short of the runway.

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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