Final Report: Helicopter crashed while filming car commercial

 - December 3, 2007, 9:35 AM

Eurocopter AS 350BA, Panamint Spring, Calif., Dec. 30, 2004–The NTSB blamed the accident, which occurred during the filming of a car commercial, on “the pilot’s misjudged lateral distance from a mountainside and failure to maintain an adequate clearance from terrain and obstacles while performing a low-altitude filming maneuver.” During the filming in Death Valley National Park, the AS 350’s main rotor blades hit a mountain. The tips of the blades were severed and the helicopter crashed. The helicopter was about 20 feet above the highway, filming the prototype automobile. The pilot was flying from the right seat and instructing the automobile’s driver by CB radio. The director was in the left seat; both he and the pilot were seriously injured. The cameraman in the back was killed.