NTSB Identification: LAX07MA231B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 27, 2007 in Phoenix, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2009
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS350-B2, registration: N215TV
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/A_Acc1.htm. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-09/02.
On July 27, 2007, about 1246 mountain standard time, two electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopters, N613TV and N215TV, collided in midair while maneuvering in Phoenix, Arizona. The Eurocopter AS350B2 helicopters, from local channels 3 and 15, had been covering a police pursuit. N613TV, the channel 3 helicopter, was operated by KTVK-TV, and N215TV, the channel 15 helicopter, was operated by U.S. Helicopters, Inc., under contract to KNXV-TV. Each helicopter had a pilot-reporter and a photographer on board. The occupants on board both helicopters were killed, and the helicopters were destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The helicopters were operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plans had been filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Both pilots' failure to see and avoid the other helicopter. Contributing to this failure was the pilots' responsibility to perform reporting and visual tracking duties to support their station's ENG operation. Contributing to the accident was the lack of formal procedures for Phoenix-area ENG pilots to follow regarding the conduct of these operations. Full narrative available
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