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Helicopter pilot dipped aircraft's nose to illustrate a coyote hunt moments before fiery crash that killed 2

A National Transportation Safety Board report released Wednesday provides details on the July 22, 2010 crash outside of Kingfisher
by Juliana Keeping Published: May 10, 2013
/articleid/3808188/1/pictures/2049336">Photo - Michael Eccard in his Edmond home Dec. 16, 2010, five months after he survived a fatal helicopter crash. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman <strong>JIM BECKEL - THE OKLAHOMAN</strong>
Michael Eccard in his Edmond home Dec. 16, 2010, five months after he survived a fatal helicopter crash. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman JIM BECKEL - THE OKLAHOMAN

Rotor strikes were found on tree limbs almost 700 feet away from the wreckage and the helicopter appears to have skid over 100 feet during the crash, according to the investigation. Two main rotor blades flew hundreds of feet in opposite directions. The aircraft burst into flames. Duke and Harrison died in the crash.

“I tried not to look at the flames. ... I knew the helicopter was there and my partner and my pilot were there as well,” Eccard told The Oklahoman in a December 2010 interview.

He told The Oklahoman at the time of that interview his co-workers were “great at their jobs.”

Harrison's medical records and a toxicology report conducted after the crash show Harrison took a number of drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter.

NTSB documents show Harrison reported a series of orthopedic procedures to the FAA over the years but answered “no” on a medical questionnaire that asked if he currently used any prescription or nonprescription medication. His last medical certificate was issued Feb. 10, according to his FAA medical file, the NTSB reported.

About two weeks later, on Feb. 25, medical records show he was prescribed a painkiller, anti-anxiety drug and sleep aid, among other medications for conditions like hypertension and reflux.

NTSB documents state a toxicology report found Valium, and “a large amount of hydrocodone,” and an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine.

Lawsuit filed

Eccard filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court in October 2011, naming the estate of Allan Harrison and EagleMed LLC as defendants. Eccard is asking for damages of over $75,000 in compensation for injuries, mental suffering, medical care, lost wages and other claims, the suit states.

Harrison was negligent in operating the helicopter; EagleMed was negligent in their hiring of Harrison, the suit states.

It claims EagleMed knew Harrison “intentionally operated the helicopter dangerously,” the lawsuit states.

The Oklahoman's attempts to reach EagleMed officials, Eccard and Eccard's attorney, Gary Homsey, were not successful on Thursday, however, in a written response to Eccard's complaint, EagleMed denied the allegations and asked the court to dismiss the suit.

Read the NTSB report has disabled the comments for this article.
by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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