NEWS

Flying doctors to shed wings?

Flying ambulance doctors late on Thursday threatened to abstain from airborne missions unless flight and helipad security is improved in the wake of Monday’s accident in which an ambulance helicopter crashed on a small island in the Cyclades killing all five occupants. During a meeting with the Chairman of the National First Aid Center (EKAB) Christos Ressos, flying doctors complained that island helipads were poorly maintained and insufficiently equipped, adding that mercy flights were «irrationally managed.» They said they would refuse to board night flights involving landings on island helipads. Last week’s crash on the island of Anafi occurred in the early hours of Monday, as the pilot apparently flew into a hillside. EKAB flying doctors also complained that, 15 months after five people died aboard another EKAB helicopter that crashed into the sea off Cape Sounion in Attica on January 14, 2001, there has still been no official report on the cause of the accident. EKAB carries out some 3,000 flights of mercy a year.