Across the United States and around the world, fans are still trying to process the fact that retired NBA star Kobe Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and several others. Southern California remains in mourning for this career-long Los Angeles Laker. In observance of the tragedy and his passing, a game scheduled between the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers was postponed. Nevada and the rest of the nation are in mourning. The sad news is a somber reminder of how dangerous helicopter crashes can be.
The Tragic Crash
While questions still remain regarding what caused that Sunday morning crash, investigators pieced together some clues that point toward an answer. The helicopter was flying on a foggy morning — although the pilot was given clearance to fly — which resulted in low visibility and a more difficult job for the helicopter pilot to navigate the California terrain. The pilot was no rookie, however; he had logged more than two-thirds of his 8,200 flight log time in the same model helicopter involved in the crash. Moreover, the pilot had made the exact same trip just the day prior. According to reports, the helicopter fell at a rate of 33 feet per second after climbing up to about 2,300 feet; this speed — which is approximately 23 miles per hour — is way too fast for a standard landing. For this reason, authorities believe there was either something wrong with the pilot or with the helicopter just prior to the accident. Unfortunately, the helicopter did not have a blackbox on board.
The Dangers of Helicopters
Helicopter crashes like the one that took the life of Bryant and others have become more and more common over the years. While it is true that fatal helicopter crashes are rare the rate of deadly helicopter accidents per 100,000 flight hours have gone up between 2016 and 2018. This translates to a 35% higher risk of being involved in a helicopter crash than a plane crash. Those who live and work in Nevada are not unfamiliar with aviation-related accidents; many helicopter operators in Nevada offer sightseeing tours to and from Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon as well as over Lake Tahoe in the north.
The United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) notes a rise in wrongful death helicopter accidents could be due in part to an increase in flights that are non-essential and low in altitude. These types of flight paths tend to see more obstacles such as powerlines, hills, or even buildings. Because helicopters are allowed under the law to fly much lower than other aircrafts, there is a higher likelihood for crashes. Despite the increase in deadly helicopter crashes led by private pilots, however, these types of accidents are still quite rare.
Legal Help in Nevada
If you have questions about helicopter crashes, lost a loved one in a fatal crash, or have been hurt in a Las Vegas accident, contact the Matt Pfau Law Group today. We will fight for the monetary compensation you and your family deserve. Do not try to do this on your own during such a difficult time. Contact us today.