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This had to happen eventually...

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Richard King, Jul 28, 2007.

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  1. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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  2. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    You nailed it.

    This was inevitable when laws are violated -- the immutable laws of physics, that is...

    But there are several contributing factors, beginning with the fluid and unpredictable
    dynamics of a high-speed police vehicle chase, combined with two or more inherently
    unstable aircraft in hot pursuit in a confined three-dimensional airspace, each with only
    a 2-man air crew, one being the pilot who is focusing on the chase, and the other, the
    videographer who is concentrating on acquiring and holding the shot, with no one else
    on board to keep an eye on the fast-changing conditions of the surrounding airspace.
     
  3. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

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    actually there were 5 choppers in the area
     
  4. machavez00

    machavez00 Hall Of Fame

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    I knew it would happen one day, I was expecting it to happen in the home of high speed chases, L.A., but not here in Phoenix.

    I think what will happen is that the FAA will mandate one chopper on a rotating basis and anyone who wants to cover the chase has to use that feed.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    2nd story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070728...ers_collide;_ylt=As.aECvRQoE_f.rVs6Dti8tH2ocA
    I certainly hope not! It is understandable to hold the chase driver responsible for any accidents he was in on the ground ... possibly for emergency vehicles rushing to the scene (although that is a stretch) but not for someone else's choice to fly in a dangerous manor.

    If charged with those deaths he should counter sue the stations for adding to the pressure of the situation ... claim that the civilian helicopters created an air of paranoia that made the entire situation more hazardous.

    We had a situation in town a few years ago where two police officers in cars hit each other at an intersection. One of them ran a red light, both at a high rate of speed and obviously not in control of their vehicles (neither avoided the accident). An officer died in the crash. They threatened to blame that on the suspect they were after (who was being chased - on foot - by several other officers). No one knows who ran the red light - since both cars were driven by cops the investigation ended quietly. Had a civilian been involved they would have been blamed for not yielding to the emergency vehicle. In the end, calmer views prevailed and the "suspect" was not charged with the accident.

    Everyone likes to blame someone else for their problems. While Mr Jones' decision to run from the police was the reason that he was being chased by civilian helicopters those pilots made their own choice to fly in a manor where they could not control their aircraft - driven not by Mr Jones, but by their respective station management and egos trying to "get the best shot" at any cost. This time it cost four lives and some third station got the best shot ... video of their crashed helicopters.

    Hopefully the industry will look at WHY they cover police chases ... but I doubt this will stop them. Both stations are probably already looking for their next helicopter. :(
     
  6. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'm really wondering how this can happen. If the guy flying the helicopter is watching the ground and not the area he is flying in... then he could crash into anything, not just another helicopter. This sounds to me like at least one of the pilots was responsible.

    I certainly wouldn't blame the crooks on the ground. There are limitations to "hot pursuit" and it certainly doesn't apply to non-police personnel and media helicopters. Those guys are on their own if they cause an accident while trying to get the scoop.
     
  7. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    When I lived in Phoenix I had two highway routes to work. Occasionally I would pick my route based on the traffic pattern of the helicopters. They were always flying over the busiest traffic in the city and/or any accidents (very easy to tell based on how many were hovering.)

    In stationary events, the group all seemed to work well picking their spot and working well together. I never observed a chase, so don't know how well they did or did not coordinate. I do know, that has to be very tough.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    In many, if not most states, any death occuring during the commission of a felony can
    result in a felony murder charge against the person being charged with the original felony.
     
  9. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    While I completely agree with that rule, there have to be limits. Obviously, if someone dies in a hospital from a heart attack miles away, but "during" the time of the felony and without knowledge of the felony, does not count. So there have to be some form of reasonable tests one can apply to verify if someone should be charged.

    If I were on the ground, directly in the path of the chase or of people getting away from the chase, I could see the felon being charged. If, however people were racing to the scene to witness the felony in action, I would think the felon wouldn't be charged, but the people who raced toward the dangerous situation should be. (Jame's point about emergency vehicles racing to save, chase, or help are different.)

    I like James' post about this. I think he described many of the salient points very well.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Who is this Jame in To'm post? :D
     
  11. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Jame Typo. He is responsible for all the mistakes I make in typewritten form and, unfortunately, is a very good friend of mine.
     
  12. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    BTW: Emergency vehicles driving dangerously is one of my pet peeves. So often the drivers use the excuse of "saving a life" in order to put many more lives at risk as they get the thrill of racing through traffic violating the law. I was nearly nailed by a cop doing well over 60 in a 35 one day ... I turned and followed him and found out he was the sixth or seventh car arriving at a traffic stop about a half mile away. No guns drawn nor hands on their holsters so not likely to be a situation where he needed to be there that fast. I've also seen a lot of emergency vehicle accidents in the news where the drivers are just not driving safely.

    But being the ones that we (as a society) ask to chase down criminals and get to the scene quickly to render aid I can cut emergency vehicle drivers some slack -- just some. When it comes to civilians who are chasing for pleasure (or ratings) there is no slack.
     
  13. Richard King

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    This is actually quite the dilemma for me. I want the fellow charged with murder (4 counts in this case) so that he gets thrown in jail and has no chance of ever seeing freedom again, but I want all who lead police on high speed chases to have the same treatment. These people have NO regard for public safety and therefore, should not be out mingling with the public. Lock 'em up and throw away the key to protect the public..... However, I don't know about this specific situation in that I also am tired of seeing high speed chases on television (and the race to the high speed chase to see who can be first on the air with it). It was plainly obvious that this would eventually happen. Now, if the victim had been an ambulance chasing lawyer, my thoughts would have been totally different in that he should have been immediately released and given a citizenship award. :rolleyes:
     
  14. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The responsibility to operate your vehicle safely, whether aircraft or automobile, does not end just because someone else has chosen to operate their vehicle unsafely. Reckless disregard for life and property is a phrase that could be used to describe civilians involving themselves unnecessarily in a police chase.

    These guys were not victims of a police chase or the pursued person. They were victims of their employers and the "must air chase" mentality.
     
  15. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Actually, in my illustrative scenario, you will note that I said "two or more..."
    but as was reported, there were only two aircraft involved in the crash.
     
  16. Richard King

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    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/94105
    Homicide charges in helicopter crash a tough call
    More....
     
  17. LR308er

    LR308er Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Charging the chase suspect with the deaths makes less sense than charging the news producers with them.

    They were there of their own free choice, chasing a ratings dollar.
    They did not contribute to the chase. They did not have to be there.
    They were not doing any knid of public service.

    One pilot got careless and ran into the other. If anything, he is responsible for the death of three people and himself.

    I would contribute to the driver's defense fund if they try to push this pile through the courts and hold him repsonsible.
     
  18. LR308er

    LR308er Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Well said!
    +1000
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    . . . . :thats: Now that's a load of liberal aclu horsepucky! :nono2:
    The helicopter pursuit and crash would not have even occurred in the first place if
    the driver had not chosen to break the law by fleeing rather than obey the law. It is
    clear that driver, by his felonious actions, is absolutely responsible for four deaths.
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Not sure if it's liberal or conservative, but "horsepucky" seems to fit this:
    The next time I see a police chase I'm going to join in ... who cares if I bump a few people off the road or even kill someone, I can blame it all on the suspect of the police chase! After all, if he had not run from the police I would not have been chasing him! That's your logic. :grin:

    Someone else operating their vehicle in a reckless manor DOES NOT grant permission for you to operate your vehicle in a reckless manor. At best this was a horrible accident where one pilot lost track of the other and ran into the other helicopter - watching the chase instead of where he was going (just another gawker accident).
     
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