Houston has history of TV news helicopter crashes

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 11:20 PM

HOUSTON – Frightening video shows the fiery aftermath seconds after a news helicopter crashed in Seattle.

According to witnesses, the KOMO-TV chopper nosedived into the ground and burst into flames shortly after takeoff.

The accident killed a pilot, a photographer and seriously injured a man on the ground.

Bob Spradlin flew Air 11 for more than a decade, covering breaking news in the skies over Houston, and he said that part of the challenge for news pilots is staying focused in the cockpit.

“You may have five people trying to tell you what to do at the same time, so it's a little rough at times trying to sort out the messages,” said Spradlin.

Houston has had its own deadly history of news helicopter crashes. In 2008, a pilot and photographer were killed when KTRK’s chopper crashed in a wooded area of Montgomery County.it was caused by mechanical failure.

In 2000, weather contributed to the crash of FOX 26’s helicopter crash in River oaks, killing the pilot.

In 2001, KHOU’s Air 11 broke apart after hydraulic problems forced a hard landing on top of KHOU’s Studios. There were no serious injuries.

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