Helicopters are used by many media outlets and businesses for a wide variety of reasons. It is not unusual to look up in the skies of California and see news helicopters or police helicopters too. While mostly a safe mode of transportation and a common way to go about work as a reporter or photographer, a recent fatal work injury just north of California highlights how dangerous a helicopter ride can turn.
A news helicopter was on a helipad on the roof of a television station. As it started to lift off, it was seen tilting. The unusual noise it made as it was taking off drew attention from the street below. Witnesses observed the helicopter rotate, then fall to the ground below. It burst into flames as it fell and landed, striking cars on the street.
A former photographer for the news station was on board, as he was working for the helicopter company. He and the pilot both lost their lives in the crash. The crash is being investigated, and Seattle policies about helicopter pads are also being reviewed as a result of the deadly accident.
An investigation may shed some light on what exactly happened and why the crash occurred. The men who lost their lives had certain benefits under the law to protect them from financial hardship after a work injury. In the event of a fatal work injury in California or elsewhere, families may be entitled to workers' compensation death benefits in order to help them deal with the financial ramifications of an accident that has taken the life of a loved one.
Source: sfgate.com, Investigators comb scene of deadly chopper crash, Phuong Le and Manuel Valdes, March 21, 2014