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What Are Common Causes of Helicopter Crashes?

April 7, 2021 Posted In

Vertical flight has come a long way since Leonardo da Vinci first dreamed up the concept of an “aerial screw” more than five centuries ago. Modern helicopters are extremely versatile flying machines that offer some unique benefits when it comes to travel. Not only can you use a helicopter to get to your destination quickly, but you can travel to more places, sightsee, and get there in style. However, helicopters are not without danger for pilots and passengers, especially if carelessness or neglect is involved.

Whether a helicopter is used for sightseeing, private transportation, traffic news, air ambulance, military maneuvers, or transportation to an offshore location, each flight requires a competent pilot and capable aircraft. If the helicopter does not arrive at its destination safely, victims and their loved ones have a right to seek compensation for costs such as medical bills, lost income, and wrongful death.

Why Do Helicopter Crashes Occur?

Helicopters are complex machines that require a high degree of skill to operate safely, and operational error that results in an accident can occur during the planning, flying, training, or maintenance of the craft. Likewise, helicopter crashes can be related to the helicopter’s mechanical processes. Helicopters are made up of many sophisticated parts, including engines, flight controls, rotors, gears, driveshafts, and electronics that all must operate correctly for a safe flight to occur.

As such, helicopter accidents can occur for any number of reasons, some of the most common of which include the following:

Pilot Error

Mistakes made by the helicopter’s pilot are among the most common causes of helicopter crashes. There are many ways a pilot can instigate a helicopter crash, including improper training, loss of aircraft control, failure to recognize a potential crash situation, or flying while distracted, intoxicated, or overtired. Pilots may also place profits over safety if they agree to take on passengers despite adverse weather conditions.

Defective Parts

All aircraft must be designed and constructed in a way that ensures pilot and passenger safety. However, some helicopters operate with installed parts that are unapproved or untested,, while others are flawed before their construction even begins. When this happens, helicopter manufacturers and designers can be held liable in a product liability claim.

Engine Failure or Power Loss

Engine failure can result in a potentially catastrophic outcome. Causes for such a failure can range from faulty fuel pumps to component metal fatigue. In-flight engine failure is often reported by the pilot and preserved on the air traffic control voice tape.

Poor Maintenance

Grave mistakes can occur when mechanics  install parts incorrectly or fail to diagnose problems on the machine. Improper maintenance may include the failure to perform checkups at the recommended intervals or neglecting major overhauls or annual inspections. These breakdowns may result from inadequate training, work overload or fatigue, improper oversight, or misplaced budgetary priorities.

Air Traffic Control Negligence

Air traffic controllers are essential to helicopter operations. They need to stay in constant contact and provide necessary and reliable information to pilots. If an air traffic controller provides outdated or incorrect weather information to a pilot, isn’t correctly trained on ground-based radar guides, or fails to provide a pilot with relevant details before or during the flight, air traffic control may be named in an injury lawsuit.

Contact an Experienced California Helicopter Accident Attorney Today

Helicopter crashes in California or elsewhere often result in serious injuries or fatalities. When these accidents occur, it’s critical that injury victims or the families of people who died in the accident pursue a case for recovery as soon as possible. Fortunately, help is right around the corner. At Danko Meredith, our experienced team is committed to keeping you informed every step of the way and helping you conquer this challenging time in your life.

We’ve been named one of the Best Law Firms in America by US News & World Report, and our award-winning lawyers are consistently listed among California’s elite. We care about you and will be by your side throughout the entirety of the legal process. No matter the complexity or size of the case, we’ll commit our full attention and resources to all of our clients who deserve justice. For a free consultation, give us a call at (650) 453-3600 or complete our contact form today.