The Norman Transcript

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July 20, 2013

Meds likely had role in crash

OKLAHOMA CITY — Federal investigators say the probable cause of a medical helicopter crash near Kingfisher in 2010 that killed two people was the pilot’s impaired judgment, due to medications.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its probable cause report on Thursday for the July 22, 2010, crash that killed the pilot, 56-year-old Al Harrison of Edmond, and a flight nurse, 35-year-old Ryan Duke, of Oklahoma City. A paramedic on board survived.

The report noted that toxicology reports on Harrison detected the presence of numerous medications, including a prescription narcotic pain reliever and other drugs with sedative effects.

The report also said the surviving paramedic told investigators that during the flight, Harrison abruptly began a low-level maneuver “in an attempt to demonstrate a coyote hunt flight.”

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