American Eurocopter AS 350B2 N613TV/Eurocopter AS 350B2 N215TV, Phoenix, July 27, 2007–The NTSB has released factual information about the midair involving two tv news helicopters in Phoenix. The KTVK-TV Channel 3 (N613TV) and KNXS-TV Channel 15 (N215TV) Eurocopters were operated by KTVK-TV and US Helicopters, respectively.
Phoenix news helicopter collision
A fatal midair between two television news helicopters in Phoenix last year has prompted better communications and procedures within the local helicopter community and could spur nationwide reforms, including ending the practice of pilots acting as reporters while flying.
The July 27 fatal midair of two television news helicopters over Phoenix has prompted the industry and federal regulators to re-examine the sector’s operating procedures, including the practices of using a combination single pilot/on-air reporter and allowing multiple news helicopters to cover police chases.
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.
While broadcasting a police chase on July 27 over Phoenix, a pair of Eurocopter AS350-B2 helicopters collided when their pilots apparently lost sight of each other, killing both pilot/reporters and their cameramen. The dead were identified as KNXV Channel 15 pilot/reporter Craig Smith and his cameraman, Rick Krolak, and KTVK Channel 3 pilot/reporter Scott Bowerbank and his cameraman, Jim Cox.