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The common causes of helicopter crashes

Early in 2020, legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and several others were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles. While the incident was certainly a shock, the reality is that low-altitude helicopter crashes have actually been increasing in frequency for some time -- even as fatal accidents involving commercial airplanes have fallen.

Partially, the increase can be attributed to the fact that helicopter flights are becoming more common. Quicker, easier and more private than a commercial flight, helicopters are often the preferred mode of travel when someone needs rapid transport -- whether that person is a celebrity on the way to an important event, a businessman on the way to a critical meeting or the victim of an accident or illness who needs life-saving medical care at a hospital.

But most helicopter accidents are entirely preventable. Carelessness and negligence are often the common factors in any helicopter wreck. Some of the factors that can contribute to the problem are:

  • Failure on the operator's part to properly plan a flight
  • Mistakes during the actual operation of the helicopter, including choosing to operate in unsafe weather conditions
  • Mistakes made by maintenance personnel on the ground before the helicopter ever lifts off
  • Mechanical problems with the helicopter itself or its parts, including engine failures and problems with the rotary blades
  • Electrical problems within the helicopter that cause shorts or sudden power failures
  • Instruments that are not properly calibrated and maintained

Once a helicopter crashes, it often takes a painstaking investigative process to determine where liability lies and who is responsible. The families of the victims and any survivors deserve nothing less, however, so work with an attorney who has experience with aviation accidents to best protect your interests.

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