New Details in Seattle Helicopter Crash
Federal investigators continue to collect evidence to help determine the cause of Tuesday’s deadly helicopter crash in Seattle.
A day after a KOMO-TV helicopter crashed to the ground, killing two and injuring another, investigators were working to determine the cause of the accident.
According to a report in the Seattle Times, investigations have been hampered by the sheer intensity of the crash which left the helicopter in pieces.The pilot and a photojournalist were killed in the explosion, a driver of a nearby vehicle was taken to the hospital with serious burn injuries.
Acting deputy chief of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Dennis Hogenson, told reporters that there if it was a mechanical issue that caused the crash, investigators may never be able to pinpoint the reason. He was optimistic, however, that the NTSB would be able to determine the cause.
Investigators are looking at maintenance records, video obtained from the Seattle Police Department and witness statements, including those of local crane operators. The pilot contacted a nearby crane operator to notify the operator that the helicopter was about to depart.
FAA Issues New Safety Rules
In February the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new helicopter safety rules. The new rules require improved pilot training, upgrades to safety equipment, and stricter flying procedures in bad weather.
Past Helicopter Crashes
The NTSB reports that there have been 500 deaths stemming from 1,600 helicopter crashes since 2004. Helicopter crashes have occurred in Washington in the past:
- A KIRO-TV helicopter collided with another helicopter over Lake Union in 1999. Fortunately, both aircraft managed to land safely.
- A news helicopter crashed in Spokane, WA in 1985, killing two.