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Causes of Helicopter Accidents

| Mar 23, 2015 | Personal Injury |

Riding in a helicopter is an experience that is unmatched. Helicopter flights are not only used for medical emergencies, but they are also used for personal recreation. For those lucky enough to experience a helicopter ride without the threat of a medical emergency, it can be an enjoyable experience. Although flying is meant to be the safest mode of transportation accidents still happen. Helicopters are complicated machines. Unlike regular passenger planes, they are designed to flexible enough to deal with quick and sudden movements. Helicopters serve a number of purposes, they are used when people seeking medical attention need to be airlifted and are also used in military as well as rescue missions. However, with any type of heavy machinery things can go wrong. Even things within the external environment can be the cause of helicopter crashes. Listed below are the most common causes.

1. Inclement weather

Heavy fog, rain, or snow are weather conditions that are not optimal for flying. Driving through fog in a vehicle is difficult enough, imagine enduring such an experience thousands of feet in the air. Bad weather makes it difficult to gauge distance, see clearly ahead, and avoid errors in judgment. Storms are often accompanied by winds, usually traveling at high speeds. High speed winds are constantly changing directions, because aircrafts use winds to assist in flight this can be dangerous. Even helicopters that are designed for quick movement can not adjust quickly enough for winds changing directions.

2. Mechanical malfunction

For a helicopter to function properly there are a thousand screws and bolts that need to be secured. Thousands of wires need to be connected to the proper location. A frayed wire or loose screw could be the cause of a disastrous accident. Any component of a helicopter can malfunction at anytime without forewarning. Potential causes of mechanical malfunctions:

  • Errors in design
  • Insufficient testing
  • Incorrect use
  • Failure to maintain
  • Incorrect installation

3. Operational Error

Sometimes the causes of helicopter crashes have nothing to do with mechanical errors, but rather an operational mishap. Responsibility for this category of error usually falls upon the people involved with flying the aircraft. Human error can be found in the training process, mapping of the flight course, or actual flight of aircraft. If a pilot consumes alcoholic beverages before flight that effects his judgement that leads to an accident, this is considered a human error. If the pilot of the helicopter operates the aircraft beyond the limits of its capabilities this is also considered a human error.

4. Electrical malfunction

It is possible that while on a helicopter ride the electrical source malfunctions. Most helicopters operate on a 14 or 28 volt electrical system. This system can still operate if the electrical source if suddenly cut off. When engine driven alternators fail to work, these electrical systems continue to work. However, in the event that electrical source is disrupted and the electrical systems are not able to operate than crashes can happen.

If you have been the victim of a helicopter crash you may be entitled to compensation,contact us at Kyle Law Firm for a free consultation.