Helicopters are very agile machines, but they’re also complicated to design, build and maintain, and they are very difficult to fly. The complexity of design makes it more possible that a component might fail, and the difficulty in flying them makes crashes more possible, as well. When an accident involving an airplane or a helicopter occurs, it is important to determine the cause of the accident. Effectively establishing the cause of a helicopter accident, even in situations where the helicopter is irretrievable, requires a thorough investigation by an experienced helicopter accident attorney.
Transport Helicopter Accidents
Because helicopters have great maneuverability, oil companies and specifically the offshore oil industry, commonly use them for moving workers and machinery back and forth to offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico more quickly than using boats. As a result of this, helicopter transport is very common for offshore oilfield workers. As expected, helicopter crashes involving oilfield workers are also much more common that most people know. When a helicopter crashes, the result can be devastating injuries or even death.
As is the case with all helicopters, oilfield transport helicopters must follow the safety regulations set out in the Federal Aviation Administration standards. These regulations require that companies and organizations that fly oilfield transport helicopters maintain a high standard of safety in maintenance, pilot training, and hiring. Unfortunately, some companies and/or pilots fail to follow safety regulations leading to terrible disasters.
Tour Helicopter Accidents
Whether you’re checking out a city, a national park or a popular tourist attraction, a helicopter can often provide the ultimate sightseeing tour experience. Helicopter tours offer a view of an area or attraction that is unique, and they are highly maneuverable around various types of terrain and urban areas allowing them to go places regular aircraft cannot. They can also take off and land on the tops of buildings and relatively narrow spaces.
Because helicopters are very complex machines with great maneuverability, a number of things can go wrong, to the point that a variety of errors can turn a fun sightseeing tour into a serious catastrophic event. Among the possible problems that can lead to crashes include poor aircraft design, manufacturer defects, pilot error, maintenance failure, air traffic control error, helipad operator negligence, obstructions, or poor weather conditions.
Medical Helicopter Accidents
Medical Helicopter crashes are so common that being a crew member on a medical helicopter has been cited as America’s second most dangerous job. Medical helicopters are supposed to save lives. Therefore, it’s quite tragic when a medical helicopter that is transporting a person needing immediate medical care ends up causing further injury or the death of either the patient or a member of the flight crew.
There are far more medical helicopter crashes than most people realize. In fact, crashes have become so common that working on a medical helicopter is the second-most dangerous job in the United States, right behind commercial fishing. According to the statistics from the NTSB, in 2009, the helicopter accident rate was 7.5 per 100,000 hours of flying, while the airplane accident rate was approximately 0.175 per 100,000 flying hours.
Some reasons medical helicopters crash so often include that these helicopters, in general, operate closer to the ground, are exposed to hazards beyond other flight vehicles, such as bad weather, rough terrain, power lines, accept missions quickly and without much planning, and the pilot fatigue that comes from working long hours in stressful conditions.
Contact our Experienced San Antonio Helicopter Accident Lawyer
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, such accidents may be covered under Occupational Safety and Health regulations, Federal Aviation Regulations or quite possibly maritime regulations. Each of these regulatory bodies has different requirements for proving negligence, so you need an injury attorney on your side who can navigate the terrain, and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you know was injured or wrongfully killed as the result of an accident involving a helicopter, the San Antonio personal injury attorney at Hill Law Firm can help your case. For questions or a free confidential legal consultation, call our office today. It’s important to file your claim quickly to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted, the evidence is preserved, statements are taken, and the rights of all claimants are protected.