Hazards of motion picture photography

Discussion in 'News' started by keith turrill, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. It's interesting that the widow is also suing the power company that owns the lines that the helicopter hit, presumably for not moving the lines out of the way as the chopper approached.
  2. The issue with the utility had me wondering too. The site is close to where I live and I have debated driving up there to see it for myself.

    Utility easements are usually set in stone. In a few rural areas, they put round orange markers on lines near airports or places where aerial crop spraying is done. Crop dusting is becoming less common in many places. It will be interesting to see the NTSB accident report when it comes out.
  3. One of my friends is an architectural/engineering photographer who takes a lot of photos of construction sites from helicopters. He showed me a watch of his that cost $30,000. It has an antenna that he can extend, and if he does, no matter where he is in the world, someone will show up to rescue him. He said that a "rescue" has a minimum charge of $10,000.

    When he showed me the watch, I thought that he had a case of James Bond envy. I asked him if he really needed something like that, and he said that he had been in three different helicopter crashes, one of which was in the Amazon. I guess he really has a need for it. :)

  4. I don't understand, isn't it the responsibility of the helicopter company to scout the scene
    for potential hazards and make the appropriate changes in their flights? How can she sue
    the movie company and utility company when it's the helicopter company and pilot's

    Cases of accidents with the Department of Interior over the years with government
    installations, such as streamflow measuring cableways, have always determined the
    responsibility is the flight (fixed wing or helicopters) company's to scout the area and
    avoid hazards. This by the FAA and interagency group overseeing flying activities of the
    government. Who was negligent if not the helicopter pilot?

    On a similar note, I live near a high power line and watch them occasionally work on the
    lines, which are 500-700 feet above the Narrows Strait. It's amazing to see the lengths
    they go through, even flying feet from the lines while someone checks the wire (way cool
    to see their suits and watch them).

    And I used to fly in the Arizona desert to field sites, and we only had to inform them of the
    site conditions so they didn't hit anything, like cableways, and after that they assumed
    responsibility for the passengers as long as we followed ours and their safety procedures.
    But it was always the case the pilot must do a flyover to check the area first. And the one
    accident that occurred wasn't anyone's fault after review (wind gust blew the helicopter
    downhill after landing - wasn't me luckily).

    I have sympathy for her loss, but without more information, I don't see the case.
  5. That's just the point. Lawsuits like this one target absolutely every party even remotely involved with the incident, especially ones with deep pockets like utility companies. The idea is to confuse the jury with so much baloney that they suspend critical thinking, and after all a grieving widow must be compensated for her loss. The power company may have no responsibility for the crash, but it may be the most able to pay an award, so LET'S NAIL 'EM.
  6. The pilot just didnt know his limits. The wires probably have been there a decade or two. As the boy scouts say "be prepared". Sad accidents happen like this when folks dont do their homework. Safety requires some rules and study, not best case and hope. Its interesting that the power company is named in the suit. Maybe a new case will help drunks when they crash into light poles, to help pay for the damage to the cars? A helicoper is dangerous enough when not trying to travel thru power lines. Normally during a shoot the power lines, antennas, roads, high trees are created by a field worker, lighting angles versus the sun, other air traffic is marked, targets on the ground maybe added to align the craft holding the cameras. A fellow who flys a cropduster is keenly aware of wires.
  7. A rescue, "no matter where he is in the world". I'll have to give that some thought with some interesting scenarios.

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