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VALLEY CENTER: 35-Year-Old Man Injured In Helicopter Crash By McNally Road and Muutama Road


Mar 30, 2019

35-year-old Man Injured In Valley Center Helicopter Crash Not Far From The Intersection of McNally Road and Muutama Road

VALLEY CENTER, CALIFORNIA (March 29, 2019) – A 35-year-old man was injured in a Bel 206 crop-dusting helicopter crashed not far from the intersection of McNally Road and Muutama Road.

Valley Center authorities are saying that the helicopter crash took place around 7:10 p.m. The helicopter crashed as it was being filled with pesticides. A 51-year-old pilot was spraying pesticides and then went to refill the helicopter. 

The man who was injured had to be airlifted to the Palomar Medical Center. Authorities are saying the the Bel 206 helicopter is registered to a Valley Center based company identified as Hummingbird, Inc. Aerial Applicators.

The FAA is continuing to investigate the cause of the accident. 

Causes of Helicopter Crashes

According to the International Helicopter Safety Team, most helicopter accidents occur during training. Helicopters can be much more difficult to operate safely than airplanes and other commercial aircraft. Here are just a few of the common reasons of helicopter crashes:

  • Absence of effective SMS
  • Poor safety culture
  • Insufficient instructor experience
  • Engine failure
  • Main gear box fire
  • Pitch control failure
  • Directional control failure

Helicopter crashes can leave victims with lasting injuries including bone fractures, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries and internal trauma. Many victims may not even realize the full extent of their injuries until many months following an accident. For example, a number of helicopter crash survivors suffer from PTSD. Victims may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim. 

Liability In Helicopter Crashes

There are a number of sources of potential liability for a helicopter accident. Helicopters can be very difficult to maneuver and a number of crashes are caused by pilot error. In particular, landing an take-off are typically the most dangerous periods of a flight. If a pilot was negligent and not following standard safety protocol they or the company that they work for could face civil liability for crash. Companies are generally responsible for the negligence of their employees, provided those employees were working within the course or scope of their job duties. 

Helicopter malfunctions are also major contributing factors to crashes. These are generally caused by either (1) poor maintenance or (2) design defects. Helicopters should be properly serviced just like cars and trucks. Unlike a car, a helicopter can’t just pull over to the side of the road in the event of engine failure. Pilots will need to do their best to survive an emergency landing. Helicopters may also malfunction because of component part failures. For example, helicopter operation causes extremely high levels of vibration over all of its component parts. This may cause different components to fatigue and eventually break. 

Victims of helicopter crashes are able to recover damages. This can include money for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. An air ambulance flight alone can cost between $12,000 to $25,000. Unfortunately, this is not covered by many insurance companies. A personal injury attorney can investigate all aspects of your case and help take care of your medical and financial needs. It doesn’t cost anything to hire an attorney and they only get paid if the successfully resolve your case. 

Getting Help After A Helicopter Crash

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our thoughts and prayers to the victim of this Valley Center helicopter crash. Any witnesses that may have seen what happened should reach out to the police and the FAA as they continue to investigate. It’s important that safety measures are put in place to prevent additional crashes. Someone could have easily been killed. 

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a helicopter crash you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to help with whatever you need. We can take steps to make sure that your rights are being protected and that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Whether you just have questions about your rights or need more information about an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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