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News Helicopters Collide

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My condolences to all involved.


I flew a news helicopter in LA a couple years back. I knew this would happen sooner or later.


It's not reasonable to expect an individual to fly the helicopter, direct the cameraman, coordinate with production and do live on-air reports.


In LA, we could have as many as 7 or 8 helicopters covering the same event. Police choppers below 500 TV choppers from 800 to 1200 (100ft separation) and radio choppers above that, all in clockwise orbits. Scary...


When flying in close quarters like this, you have very little margin for error. If the pilot's attention is focused on the ground, he may tend to loose his positional awareness. One of the two pilots probably didn't notice his altitude was decaying (or climbing) because he was too focused on the chase.

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