Guthrie doctor killed in helicopter crash

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WYOMING, Pa. (WETM/AP) — Sanjay Kansara, MD, of Guthrie has passed away after a helicopter crash in northeast Pennsylvania.

The Allentown Morning Call confirmed with Kansara’s wife on Friday that he was the pilot of the helicopter and that he earned his license last year.

According to Kansara’s Guthrie webpage, he had a residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and worked in Anesthesiology at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital since September 2020.

“Dr. Kansara was a devoted anesthesiologist who was committed to providing wonderful care to his patients. He was friendly and had an upbeat, positive demeanor with patients and colleagues,” said Dr. Burdett Porter of Guthrie.

According to his colleagues, Dr. Kansara had a passion for flying and enjoyed the freedom of being able to fly himself between his home in the Allentown area and Guthrie’s Sayre Campus. 

“We extend our condolences to Dr. Kansara’s family. We will all miss this fine physician and gentleman. This loss will be deeply felt by the Guthrie family,” said Dan Brown, MD, Chair, Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine at Guthrie.

According to FlightAware, the flight lasted 54 miles, 20 miles short of the expected distance. At 46 miles into the trip the helicopter was traveling at 4,000 ft. going 84 MPH. Between that point and the last known contact it descended to 3,500 ft. and reached speeds between 92 and 102 MPH.

According to the FAA, the flight had departed Allentown Queen Municipal Airport in Allentown and was headed to Bradford County Airport in Towanda. The cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time, according to the FAA.

The wreckage of a Robinson R44 copter was found in a remote area of Wyoming on Thursday night after the agency had issued an alert about a missing aircraft, the FAA said.

Courtesy FlightAware

State Police say the helicopter was discovered after a medical helicopter crew noticed a fire on the ground late Thursday night. The PA Game Commission responded and discovered the wreckage.

The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter that has been in production since 1992.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

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