When you become a passenger on a helicopter you might assume they have the same safety and industry standards as commercial airlines. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Privately owned and chartered aircraft, such as Bell Helicopters, used in sightseeing tours, air ambulance evacuations, or for private flights, are often more susceptible to a crash.
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C., is a recognized leader in complex litigation involving plane accidents, helicopter crashes and other air disasters in the U.S. and worldwide. The firm’s experienced helicopter attorneys have represented victims in medical helicopter air‑ambulance rescue operations and work‑related helicopter accidents, including industrial and construction type operations as well as professional aerial photography and logging enterprises.
Bell Helicopter Company Overview
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., began in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation. The company has produced more than 35,000 aircraft and serves customers around the world. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and has manufacturing plants in Amarillo, Texas, and Mirabel, Canada.
The company claims the invention of the tilt rotor aircraft, which purports to produce vertical lift like a helicopter for takeoff and landing, then shifts (tilts) to horizontal thrust in order to achieve speeds similar to an airplane. It boasts the ability to carry three times more cargo than traditional helicopters.
Bell Helicopter Accidents and Incidents Handled by Baum Hedlund
Bell helicopters have been involved in approximately 4,900 accidents, 800 of which were fatal crashes. As a result, more than 1,660 people have died.
Baum Hedlund has handled some of the worst aviation disasters in history, including several helicopter cases involving Bell helicopters. The following are some of the Bell helicopter accidents we have handled, all of which have been resolved with our clients’ approval:
December 10, 2015, near McFarland, California, crash of a Bell 407 medical helicopter, operated by Rogers Helicopters, dba SkyLife.
September 19, 2011, Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California, Bell AH-1W Cobra Attack helicopter training flight crash.
July 23, 2003, Kauai, Hawaii, sightseeing flight to Waialeale Crater, operated by Jack Harter Helicopters, Inc., involving a Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter (four passengers and one crew member killed).
November 1, 1999, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, accident involving a Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter that crashed on its way to provide aerial shots for ABC’s Monday Night Football (one passenger and the pilot, working for KSTP TV, were killed).
March 23, 1998, Los Angeles, California, an air ambulance flight involving a Bell 205A1 Medical Helicopter operated by the Los Angeles Fire Dept., crashed in Griffith Park, (four passengers killed, two seriously injured).
November 29, 1996, a Bell 206B JetRanger operated by Pacific Helicopter Tours, Inc., of Kahului, Hawaii, was substantially damaged near McGregor Point, Maui, Hawaii, during a power line construction project (pilot and his passenger both received serious injuries).
September 2, 1992, a Bell 206L3 LongRanger medical helicopter from San Juan Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico, leased by the hospital from Air Methods Corp. crashed northeast of Durango, Colorado while attempting to rescue a hiker who had suffered a stroke (three people were seriously injured).
July 22, 1991, a Bell 206B JetRanger, operated by Intermountain Air Service, was on a scenic sightseeing tour of Mt. St. Helens when the aircraft turned to view a herd of elk in a dry river bed and crashed. (We represented two passengers injured in that accident.)
June 22, 1976, a Hanson Aviation, Inc., chartered Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter, carrying film producers and photographers scouting locations for a Kodak commercial, crashed and burned near Bishop, California. Two people were seriously injured and two were killed. (Ron Goldman tried this case before joining Baum Hedlund, obtaining a plaintiffs jury verdict in Gradus vs. Hanson Aviation, Inc., 1984)
View our additional helicopter crash case history:
Helicopter Crash Case History
Contact Us for Help Pursuing Truth, Justice and Accountability
If a Bell helicopter crash has had a serious impact on your family, contact us online or call 800-827-0087. We have the experience and expertise and are available to handle all types of helicopter and airplane crashes. Based in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., we represent clients throughout the U.S., and around the world.