Santa Barbara Helicopter Crash Injures Three People
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara helicopter accident lawyer. The crash of a tour helicopter following an emergency landing on May 5 resulted in injuries to three persons. The copter had been checked the previous week by the Federal Aviation Administration and was inspected before its final flight. Fortunately, no one on the ground was injured in the crash.
My sympathy and best wishes go to the pilot and others who were aboard the aircraft that they will recover fully.
The tour helicopter, which was based at the municipal airport in Santa Barbara, had completed a tour of the area around the harbor and was on its way back to the airport. At this point, it began having engine trouble, which caused the Robinson R-44 to crash at about 2:00 p.m. Although the helicopter pilot remained in contact with the control tower at the airport, the copter was unable to make it back. It crashed at La Cumbre Country Club golf course at Via Laguna’s 4000 block at a parking area near the maintenance yard, slammed into several vehicles and burst into flames, according to a captain of the county fire department. Both the vehicles that were struck by the helicopter, and the copter itself, were destroyed by the resulting fire.
After the Helicopter Crashed
Employees of the golf course called 911, picked up fire extinguishers and rushed to help the three people who were aboard the helicopter, which consisted of the pilot and an additional man and woman. They used the fire extinguishers to try and suppress the fire while those inside the helicopter got out and helped them get some distance away from the helicopter before flames engulfed it.The helicopter was reportedly carrying about 1,000 gallons of aircraft fuel.
Injuries From the Crash
A Santa Barbara Fire Department representative said that the three people in the crash suffered moderate injuries. They were transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where all three are expected to make a recovery.
Background on the Helicopter
A company based in Riverside leased the helicopter, which had been used by the Santa Barbara tour company for three years. No comment was available from the FAA about the results of its most recent inspection.
Helicopters have accidents, just like other modes of transportation. According to an International Helicopter Safety Team report in 2016, 33 percent of crashes are attributed to violations, 38 percent to errors and 22 percent to system failures. Because helicopter accidents are complex, contacting an experienced helicopter accident lawyer when you become injured is a good idea. Facing injuries such as burns, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones can drain your bank account and cause an injured person to go into debt due to lost work, medical bills and other expenses that were not your fault.
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