Helicopter Accidents

In the wake of a helicopter accident, there are questions about what happened, who is responsible and why.  Often, government investigations are compromised by overworked staff and conflicts of interest that are inherent in the NTSB system.  We have published detailed information about immediate investigation facts for victims and families to reference in the days and hours after an accident.  Going forward, there are government investigations that involve documented conflicts, and independent investigations that the team at Gagliano Law Offices undertake on behalf of our clients.

It’s important to note that each helicopter crash is unique, and the specific combination of factors leading to an accident can vary.  Common causes of helicopter crashes include one or more of these items:

  • Mechanical Failure: Helicopters are complex machines with many moving parts. If any critical component, such as the engine, rotor system, or transmission, fails during flight, it can lead to a crash.
  • Low Altitude Operations: Helicopters often operate at low altitudes for various purposes, such as rescue missions or aerial work. This exposes them to hazards like wires, towers, trees, or other obstacles that can lead to collisions.  Helicopters should be equipped with special sensors that help helicopter pilots avoid terrain and other obstacles.  It is important that these sensors are operating properly.  
  • Improper Maintenance: Inadequate maintenance or failure to detect and address mechanical issues can compromise the safety of a helicopter. Faulty repairs, overlooked maintenance procedures, or inadequate inspections can contribute to accidents.
  • Human error by pilots, mechanics, inspectors, and others is one of the leading causes of helicopter accidents. Mistakes made by pilots, such as misjudging weather conditions, flying beyond the aircraft’s capabilities, or making incorrect decisions during critical moments, can result in crashes.
  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions can significantly affect helicopter operations. Poor visibility, high winds, thunderstorms, icing, or fog can pose significant challenges for pilots and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Mid-Air Collisions: Helicopters sharing airspace with other aircraft, such as airplanes or other helicopters, are at risk of mid-air collisions. Failure to see and avoid other aircraft, miscommunication between pilots, or errors in air traffic control can lead to such accidents.  Helicopters can be equipped with sophisticated sensors that help pilots detect other aircraft when they cannot be seen directly.  


Your lawyer should have engineering and aviation expertise to understand the specific details of potential accident causes and use that knowledge to your advantage.  

John Gagliano and the team at Gagliano Law Offices have experience practicing law across the United States and overseas.  John is Board Certified in Aviation Law by the Florida Bar.

You can contact John directly via email at john@gagliano.law