ISLAMORADA (CBSMiami) – An air rescue helicopter in Monroe County caught fire during landing Friday morning with a patient on board.
According to Monroe County officials, the Trauma Star helicopter was on its way to Coral Shores High School for a trauma transport when it caught fire during landing around 7:00 a.m.
Nobody was hurt.
A ground ambulance took the patient to nearby Mariner’s Hospital and then airlifted by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to another hospital.
Monroe County has three Trauma Star helicopters in its ambulance fleet. This one was the oldest. It had just undergone a complete annual maintenance as required by the FAA.
The fire caused substantial damage to the 35-year-old aircraft, which was being used as a backup because the second Trauma Star was out of service for routine maintenance.
Once the routine maintenance is complete on the second chopper, it will be put back into service on Monday.
The fleet’s newest helicopter remains in service.
The incident is being investigated by the FAA and Monroe County’s Trauma Star aviation division.