Skip to comments.KOMO TV Seattle Helo Crashes / 2 Dead
Posted on 03/18/2014 8:31:24 AM PDT by llevrok
KOMO TV Seattle news helo crashes feet from studios. Ywo confirmed dead. One critical Live link http://www.komonews.com/live
Prayers to the families. Often these news choppers were flown by Vietnam Veteran pilots. I suppose now they’re flown by Gulf War Vets?
Looks like it crashed near the intersection of Broad Street and John Street very close to the Space Needle and the Monorail rail.
Just terrible. :-(
appears to have lost power on take off. Witnesses in KOMO studio who hear helos take off and land many times a day say it didn’t sound normal.
Two dead but not yet confirming they were the crew (although likely as it went down nose first).
And right next to the KOMO studios.
2 killed as KOMO News helicopter crashes beside Space Needle
Yeppers. Just to the NW of the building where the helipad is located.
It apparently struck the side of the building while on approach to the rooftop helipad.
Was taking off, not landing.
Often these news choppers were flown by Vietnam Veteran pilots.
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On occasion they were also flown by ‘disgraced’, former U2 pilots who didn’t drink their ‘Kool Aid’.
According to an eyewitness at KIRO (competitor station located nearby), they saw the chopper liftoff, but looked like it was having trouble. It then wen into a spin, then went over the side of the building and went down. Almost sounds like something went screwy with the tail rotor controls.
Either the tail rotor broke apart due to corrosion (or metal fatigue) or it made contact with the building.
KOMO says leaving, not approaching. But they do say the building was clipped. sounds like power failure on lift off.
KOMO on air preporting. doing a professional job under terrible circumstances.
Presser with SFD etc. coming up.
Looking at the video of the crash site, the tail rotor boom looked like it was with the rest of the fuselage. I could not tell if the actual rotor was still attached, but I’d guess it wasn’t. I’m guessing that if it hadn’t flown off the rotor assembly at the time of the accident, it may have broken apart at the moment it crashed.
One of the rotor blades, that is. Too soon to tell.
Probably pilot and photographer...these days, that’s the standard crew for one of those flights. Probably going up to cover traffic—big waste of time/resources; just one more way to “brand” the station with their fancy eye in the sky.
Phoenix has the right idea...they had a terrible mid-air between a couple of news choppers a few years back, all jockeying to cover the same story. A lot of news people (current and former) had been warning of that scenario for years. As I understand it, there is now one chopper, shared by all the Phoenix stations. Everyone gets the same pictures at the same time, so there’s less temptation to send the helicopter up on a pointless assignment, trying to beat the competition.
Rotary-wing aviation is always dangerous. It would be interesting to know if KOMO dispatched its chopper for something as trivial as the morning rush...
Lots of veteran pilots from the middle east campaigns do fly, but lots of civilian trained cyclic jockeys are around too.
My father had told me of one time when the turnshaft failed on his tail-rotor (he was flying Bell 47g)..
He was lucky enough that he had altitude and forward speed, and there was a nearby airport.. he flew onto the runway with headspeed (AoA) and did an airplane landing on skids (no wheels)..
Sounds like they had a tail-rotor failure upon takeoff.. no momentum and no control :/
the helo was shared with KING TV. Twitter feeds from KOMO are hinting these may be contractors or non KOMO employees.
I was working in NYC when a PanAm passenger helicopter crashed on lift off from their former head quarters (42d and lex). That ended take off/landings from NYC building tops (may have resumed by now. that was almost 40 years ago)
Also.. just read that it was a “small” helicopter... Don’t News media usually use Bell Rangers? I cannot imagine them using a Robinson22/44 (neither should have ever gotten FAA acceptance.. both are junk :p).
apparently their main helo was being retro fitted for some new gear and this was a leased replacement. No one is suggesting pilot error due to that at this point. Well skilled pilots (pilot “known” to local viewers for many years)
From the quick clip they gave.. it may have been a Hughs 500.. that is NOT “small.. it is normal for civilian use... I could be way off, but not enough time on the vid.... also, want to send my respect to to pilot and crew/newsman onboard. I hear there is 1 more that was injured (from one of the cars?).. I hope he is able to survive..
Here at FR, I know he will receive many prayers.
From the reports, I heard there were 3 cars that were damaged.. what happened to the others? I am sure they had no time (nor clue) what was about to hit from above. Any that got out of that situation is lucky.
crap.. pilot didn’t even have alt to do auto-rotation :/
These newscasters are SO narrow minded.. I swear.. before they should be able to report on a certain subject, they should have to go through it themselves... heck, they already have the mmoney to put them through the training :/
from news source: “Has been finded”... wtf?!
This terrible reporting reminds me of another news chopper accident (think it was about 5 years ago).. 2 news choppers ran into each other :/ I still have a pic from that :/
a general curse of on air types is they feel a need to talk when the camera is on, often filling air w/o knowing what they are saying, especially in times of breaking news.