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Mysterious Helicopter Crash Leaves a Mountain of Questions

December 15, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

Last month, a helicopter operating out of Melbourne Airport crashed in Palm Bay. According to local police, the military-style helicopter was flying low before it crashed, killing all three people on board. By the time emergency crews arrived, the helicopter was completely engulfed in flames.

While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed the aircraft was not operating in any type of military capacity at the time, the cause of the helicopter crash is still unknown and there was no distress call made prior to the accident. NTSB Senior Safety Investigator anticipates the investigation will take six months to a year.

What Could Have Caused the Palm Bay Helicopter Crash?

While helicopter accidents may be uncommon, the consequences for all on board can be devastating when they do occur. Piloting a helicopter is very different than piloting an airplane and some believe they are in fact more difficult to handle once in the air. Helicopters require skilled pilots who are able to multitask and effectively handle all components simultaneously. Pilot error occurs when the pilot does not operate the helicopter within the aircraft’s operational imitations or chooses to operate in unsafe weather conditions. Other causes of helicopter accidents include the following:

  • Defective equipment
  • Failure to inspect the helicopter and perform regular maintenance
  • Failure to train flight personnel
  • Faulty aircraft manuals or training guides
  • Inadequate flight testing
  • Defective design for helicopter equipment
  • Electrical malfunctions

Colson Hicks Eidson has experience with successfully handling several helicopter crash cases. When a helicopter crash occurs, a personal injury lawyer must immediately launch an investigation to determine whether the pilot error, product liability, or any other form of negligence was at play.