Helicopter crash in Seattle

Just to be perfectly correct, the helicopter landed partially in the street and mostly in the parking lot across the street. It was not even close to the McDonalds.

I walked near the scene on my way to work today. I work a couple blocks away. At the time I was there, the area was already cordoned off, so that I couldn’t tell what the emergency was until someone told me when I got to the office.

ETA: The street across which it crashed was 4th Ave, if you’re looking at the aerial photo.

The news here reports that it crashed on takeoff, crashing on top of a couple of cars. Incredibly, someone in one of the cars walked out of the fire and was taken to the hospital.

I wonder if this will cause, either nationally or locally, changes in how news journalists use helicopters. The story the doomed chopper was returning from was about a busted water main in a suburban strip mall, not exactly worth the expense or risk a helicopter can pose in a highly built up area. Is it really worth being fifteen minutes ahead of other stations on routine news stories?
A question about the NTSB investigation. News reports early on said the “local NTSB”, not the national one, was being sent to the scene. What is the difference, or were reports incorrect?

NTSB has a Seattle office, so my guess is they are coming from local office rather than DC.
National Transportation Safety Board
N T S B,Government Of The United States
19518 Pcf Highway S # 201
Seattle, WA 98188
(206) 870-2200

Helicopters are expensive. It usually makes more sense to use them, than to have them sitting and waiting for something ‘worthy’.

Reports I’ve been hearing sound more and more like a tail rotor failure.

Imagine if this had happened during tourist season with more traffic and pedestrians.

So I click “new maps”, put up with a made-for-a-dumb-10-yr-old tour, and still don’t get the copter - just a "you’re using the “Lite Version!”, sign-in…

I know better than to trust anybody who says “sign in” to get the good stuff.

And I don’t send “money transfer costs” to Nigeria, either

If I heard the news correctly this morning, investigators do not believe the tail rotor struck the building. They’re looking into it anyway.

Also, they have video surveillance footage of the crash.

CSM article

In the helicopters I’ve flown, the main rotor turns counterclockwise so torque makes the fuselage want to turn clockwise; so you add left pedal when the power is on. The accident helicopter was French. French and Russian helicopter rotors turn the other way, uncompensated-for torque would make them rotate counterclockwise.

So… translated into non-rotorhead words, that means you suspect a tail rotor failure?

That was my initial guess (that, or a tail strike – which is an induced tail rotor failure), and what the NTSB indicates in its preliminary report.

It sounds like he suspects the opposite of failure. It was a replacement helicopter after their regular one was in for repairs. If you’re used to pressing the left pedal to add torque, a reversed helicopter is going to require you to go against your instincts. The pilot might have been pressing on the wrong pedal or been unprepared to stomp on the right pedal.

I thought of that. I was wondering how many hours the pilot had in an A-Star, and how recent they were compared to the LongRanger.