STAR Flight nurse Kristin McLain dies in greenbelt fall from helicopter

A STAR Flight nurse fell to her death Monday night during a rescue in the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Kristin McLain, who served as a flight nurse and rescuer on the chopper, was part of a team responding to a rescue when she fell from the aircraft.

The crew was called to an area near the 2600 block of Barton Hills Drive about 8:25 p.m. to help a woman who had fallen in the greenbelt. She was being lifted to safety about 9:50 p.m. when McLain fell from the helicopter’s hoist, according to Lisa Block with Travis County Emergency Services. McLain, 46, died at the scene. She had been with STAR Flight for seven years.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Lynn Lunsford said Tuesday that the National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of this investigation because it involves a death.

“The FAA will be part of that investigation, but all of our findings will be turned over to the NTSB,” said Lunsford. “The NTSB will be in charge of all updates on the progress of the investigation.”

A team from the NTSB on Tuesday begins its investigation into the incident — STAR Flight’s first on-duty death in its 30-year history. The greenbelt system is a winding 7 1/2-mile path that stretches from Barton Springs Pool to past Loop 360. At times, it can be rugged, and many people like to climb to see cliffs that have caved.

Meanwhile, the rescued woman was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with injuries that were not life-threatening. She is in stable condition. No further information about the incident was immediately available.