Last week, three people were killed when their Bell 206B helicopter crashed in northern Los Angeles County at the Polsa Rosa Ranch. The helicopter was being used to film a scene for a reality television show for the Discovery Channel.
Although the Federal Aviation Administration had given producers of the show the proper clearance that was needed to film the scene, the fatal helicopter accident has many wondering whether realty TV shows are pushing the limits when it comes to the safety of workers and reality TV cast members.
The fatal accident happened on February 10. The reality show crew had been filming a helicopter taking off and landing when the crash occurred. The helicopter’s pilot, one crew member and one cast member all died in the crash. The victims were all between the ages of 45 and 59.
Many factors may lead to helicopter accidents in California. Manufacturer defects, pilot errors, maintenance failures, poor weather conditions, and other obstructions or negligent actions may cause serious or fatal accidents. The cause of last week’s crash has yet to be determined, but the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are conducting investigations. The Los Angeles Times reported that the film set accident was one of the most devastating accidents to occur in the area over the past few years.
It is not certain whether negligence contributed to last week’s fatal crash. If negligence is later determined to have been a factor, the victims’ families may consider filing wrongful death lawsuits in order to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering. Other actions may be taken as well to better prevent this type of accident from harming other realty TV crew and cast members. If it is discovered that the victims’ safety was jeopardized in order to cut filming costs and other expenses, lawmakers, and other groups in the reality TV industry may consider pushing for better protections for reality TV workers.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Fatal helicopter crash spurs concern over reality TV safety,” Richard Verrier and Scott Collins, Feb. 12, 2013