The air ambulance was a twin-engine fixed wing turboprop with four aboard. Thirteen minutes into the flight, the pilot reported to air traffic control that he smelled smoke in the cockpit. A fire had started beneath a circuit breaker panel mounted on the cockpit floor between the pilot and co-pilot seats. The crew began an emergency descent and tried to extinguish the fire. But the fire was being fed by flammable fluid from hydraulic lines near the breaker panel. As the fire grew, it burned through a main wing support structure. Before the crew could get on the ground, the wings separated from the aircraft. The aircraft began to tumble and disintegrate in flight. No one survived the impact.
We traced the fire’s origins to a stretcher system that had been improperly wired through the ship’s electrical panel.