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Sunday, July 16, 2017

What Are The Top Causes Of Helicopter Accidents?

Flying in helicopters can be exhilarating. Being able to see extensive panoramas and feel the subtle movements of the craft can give you a perspective few experience. Unfortunately, this experience comes at a cost. The helicopter crash rate in the U.S. is 9.84 per 100,000 flight hours per year. This rate is 35% higher than other aviation accidents put together.

Perhaps no one is more aware of the devastation that follows a helicopter crash than the family of Don Oppliger, owner of a large Texas cattle-feed and farming operation, whose Robinson R44 helicopter crashed into one of his Texas properties last month. Oppliger was piloting the helicopter at the time of the crash. According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the cause of the crash is still unknown.

Why Are Helicopter Accidents So Prevalent?

Helicopters are more maneuverable and flexible in their abilities to take off and land where planes cannot, making them a more versatile choice for quick operations in unconventional circumstances. They are more sensitive to bad weather and frequently fly at low altitudes where buildings, bridges, power lines, and hills may cause hazards, particularly in poor visibility.

Additionally, helicopters have more moving parts than other aircraft, making them more susceptible to mechanical failures, due to defects or from extensive wear. These types of aircraft are also more complex to operate, utilizing multiple controls for propellers, forward and backward motion, altitude, throttle and torque. The accident rate for beginner helicopter pilots is twice that of beginning airplane pilots.

Primary Helicopter Accident Causes

In addition to new pilot errors, there are some common threads to helicopter accidents over the years. These causes include:

  • Design Defect
  • Mechanical Failure
  • Fuel Loss
  • Bad Weather
  • Pilot Error
  • Collisions
  • Electrical Malfunctions
  • Miscommunications with ground control

Any of these factors can be grounds for liability for injuries and deaths following helicopter crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a helicopter accident, you do not have to navigate this process alone.  Contact a Texas personal injury lawyer for guidance on how to protect your rights.

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