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Helicopter crashes: A pilot and aircraft operator may be liable

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2021 | Helicopter Crashes

Residents and business owners across the United States may want to learn more about the fact that pilots and aircraft operators may be accountable when a helicopter crashes. The case of late basketball star, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, as well as all others aboard the helicopter, is evidence of this.

According to sources, safety officials are blaming the pilot for the crash of the helicopter which crashed into a hillside in Southern California in 2020. The safety agency also faulted Island Express Helicopters, operator of this aircraft, for inadequate review and oversight of safety matters.

The National Transportation Safety Board blames experienced pilot

Pilot Ara Zobayan was fully experienced, yet violated his training in flight rules. He flew into conditions in which he could not see. He could have done safety measures such as the following:

  • Slowing down
  • Landing
  • Switching to autopilot

Thinking that he was flying upwards, he was, in fact, descending.

Wanted to deliver his star client

Zobayan may have felt pressure to get his passengers to the Mamba Sports Academy in Ventura County, where he had flown the previous day. He had made the trip many times before. There were no signs of drugs or alcohol, and the pilot might have thought he could pull off the trip, even in changing adverse conditions.

The “leans” are a common cause

“The leans” may cause helicopter crashes. A pilot loses visual cues when flying into fog or darkness. An inner ear disturbance causes pilots to think they are flying straight, when, actually, they are descending.

A bill is being sponsored to mandate warning systems on helicopters that carry more than six people. Its name is the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act.

If you or a loved one have injuries from a helicopter crash or aviation accident, it may be smart to contact an attorney with experience in this field of law. They might be able to help you move forward.