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Helicopter Accidents

CHONBURI, THAILAND - JUNE 20, 2016 : Two Sikorsky S-70B Sea Hawk helicopter of Royal Thai Navy parks on the helicopter deck of HTMS Angthong (LPD 791) Large Platform Dock ship.

It's a rule of thumb that the smaller the vessel we travel in, the more likely an accident resulting in injuries is to occur. This logic is certainly true for helicopters. These dangerous aircrafts have the highest fatality rate in air transportation. This can be due to inexperienced pilots, unsuccessfully maneuvering the aircraft to avoid a visualized collision, or the amount of weight on board being underestimated and the resulting baggage too heavy for the small vessel, causing it to crash.

When and why are helicopters used as transportation?

Mainly used as a rescue vessel for paramedics (“Life Flight”) or as a way to sightsee overhead, most people will never have to travel in a helicopter, and if they choose to, the trip will be short. However, that’s not a reason to negate safety measures when choosing this mode of transportation. In fact, many helicopter accidents happen just shortly after takeoff and often result in the tragic death of everyone onboard.

The tragic outcome of helicopter accidents

No matter the reason, helicopter accidents are tragic. Very often there are no survivors and families are left without a loved one. These accidents are far too common, and helicopters should not be a preferred mode of transportation due to their high risk of injury and death. However, there are times when a life changing experience such as a tour of the Grand Canyon or flying above places like Alaska where the only mode of transportation is a helicopter tour. It's most tragic when helicopter accidents occur during these fun, memory making experiences.

Helicopter accident lawyers recommend safety first

When it comes to riding in a helicopter, many adventurers want the experience. Helicopter tours can offer some of the most beautiful views a person can experience, and for some people, that risk is worth it. Should a traveler decide to take the risk of boarding a helicopter to sightsee a new and exciting place from above, there are several important things they must know and several rules they must abide by in order to remain safe at all times while aboard.

Accident lawyers see the tragic outcome of those who don't heed safety warnings every day, and offer these basic tips to keep those who are planning a helicopter trip safe:

  • Listen to the pilot! Before takeoff the pilot will brief everyone aboard the helicopter about rules and flight policies specific to the carrier. There will be specific rules about when passengers may enter and exit the aircraft, and when passengers must remain seated. All of these policies are in place for a reason: safety! Ignoring these policies or interrupting the pilot while he or she is explaining important safety measures could put everyone on the aircraft at-risk.
  • Do not approach. The only time passengers should attempt to approach the helicopter is after permission is given by the pilot and/or flight crew. Safety tip: always approach a helicopter from the front, so the pilot has a clear view of you and your party. Approaching the front of the aircraft at an angle gives the pilot the best view of what’s around him or her.
  • Mind the rotors. Once the rotors are already turning, or have been set in motion to begin turning, always approach the craft with caution. Should passengers need to approach the helicopter when it’s at ground level, they should walk toward the craft at a “low crouch” to allow the most space possible between limbs and rotors. Heeding this safety tip could prevent catastrophic amputation accidents.
  • Secure personal belongings. Any personal items such as hats, ties, or loose jewelry should properly secured (or taken off) before approaching a helicopter. Chasing after an item that has blown away could result in serious and life-threatening injuries.
  • Put the cigarette out! Never smoke within 50 feet of a helicopter.

What happens after a helicopter accident?

After a devastating helicopter accident occurs, it's important for the victim, or in the case of a tragic and unexpected wrongful death, their family, to retain Board Certified legal counsel right away. The Helicopter Accident Lawyers at Shaked Law Firm have years of plane and helicopter accident experience and have successfully dealt with the complexities of the NTSB and FAA for our clients.

Contact our Helicopter Accident Lawyers today for a free consultation; there's no obligation!

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