STAR Flight helicopters officially back in service

FILE - STAR Flight helicopter (KXAN File Photo/Todd Bynum)
FILE - STAR Flight helicopter (KXAN File Photo/Todd Bynum)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — STAR Flight helicopters are officially back in service, as of 7 a.m. Wednesday. However, the aircraft will be under a limited operation plan. STAR Flight Program Director Casey Ping says they will be transporting patients but not performing any hoist rescues, helping with fighting fires or helping with law enforcement operations.

The helicopter in question has been grounded since last week, when flight nurse Kristin McLain died during a rescue over the greenbelt in South Austin. As for a date on when STAR Flight will resume full operations, Ping says it’s all about time and self-assurance.

“First of all, we have to have crew confidence, and the crew has to be comfortable with that,” said Ping. “And then, we have to have management confidence — that we can perform those missions safely.”

STAR Flight also had events planned for its 30th anniversary this month, but they’re postponing the celebrations out of respect for McLain. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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