Patients and employees needed to be evacuated as leaking aviation fuel began
to burn on the helipad above the Pediatrics ICU area. Kent County Emergency Services
Team was placed into action to help with communications in the massive effort
needed to evacuate the largest hospital in West Michigan. During the entire
incident both repeaters threatened by this fire continued to operate and in
fact were in use by the Emergency Services Teams during the event.
Original reports indicated that the helicopter tail rotor hit "a radio tower".
As can be seen in the larger version of the picture below (click the picture for
the larger version) the tower sustained no damage. Though it is hard to tell from
this photo, that tower is at least 10 feet from the edge of the building, and
all of the antennas to the right are set back close to 2 feet from the edge.
We may never know exactly what happened but I can assure you that the helicopter
did not hit that tower, or any of the antennas.
Looking at the larger version of the picture it is very evident from the
massive slices on the wall that the main rotor at some point made contact
with the wall. The dark things that you see protruding from the wall are
the lights for the helipad, except for the one at the top left edge of that
wall that is a security camera.
The good news is that despite the fire and all of the damage, there was no
loss of life attributed to this event, and the pilot and passenger walked
away with minor injuries.