NTSB Issues Phoenix Helicopter Mid-air Prelim
The NTSB issued its preliminary report recently on the mid-air collision between two news helicopters covering a car chase in Phoenix on July 27 in which four people aboard the two helicopters died. According to the Safety Board, the crash occurred while the suspect stopped his vehicle, abandoned it and acquired another vehicle. Witnesses on the ground indicated that the Channel 3 helicopter was “relatively stationary,” while the “Channel 15 helicopter was maneuvering when the collision occurred.” This report appears to substantiate the Safety Board’s previous report of a radio transmission in which one pilot said, “Where’s 3? Like how far? Oh jeez. Three I’m right over you. 15’s right over you.” According to the preliminary report, all aircraft in the area operated on the same frequency and the media was to maintain a minimum of 500 ft above the police department’s aircraft. A new letter of agreement signed May 15 was also in place to handle air traffic issues.