Jump to content


Photo

News helicopter collision kills all four aboard


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:35 PM

A very sad day...

http://news.yahoo.co...copters_collide
  • 0

#2 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:43 PM

It's true, when choppers lose their blades, they are nothing but big rocks way up in the air. There are a few graphic clips on YouTube that demonstrate how quickly helicopters become deathtraps.
  • 0

#3 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 July 2007 - 03:49 AM

Very sad. Yet another reason to avoid shooting from choppers.
  • 0

#4 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:47 AM

I've never been able to understand why there is a need for so many aircraft in the sky when the news outlets want to cover a car chase like this. The FAA should only allow one private (non-police) aircraft in the vicinity at one time. The news outlets then could/should coordinate/share the feed. There is just no point to putting so many lives in danger just to get an "exclusive" shot of some moron on the ground doing something stupid.
  • 0

#5 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:42 AM

I've never been able to understand why there is a need for so many aircraft in the sky when the news outlets want to cover a car chase like this. The FAA should only allow one private (non-police) aircraft in the vicinity at one time. The news outlets then could/should coordinate/share the feed. There is just no point to putting so many lives in danger just to get an "exclusive" shot of some moron on the ground doing something stupid.


It's very sad and tragic indeed.

But after having worked in several TV news rooms I'm surprised this did not happen sooner or more often. The insane desire to get exclusive or "better" footage than the other guy is what lead to this accident. I can almost hear the news director screaming into his radio from the newsroom to the helicopter pilot, "CLOSER!! CLOSER!! Channel 5 is closer than us, get CLOSER."

The pool feed idea is what the USA needs. This is never an issue in Canada since Canadian TV news operations are too cheap to have choppers in the first place.

R,
  • 0

#6 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:54 AM

It's very sad and tragic indeed.

But after having worked in several TV news rooms I'm surprised this did not happen sooner or more often. The insane desire to get exclusive or "better" footage than the other guy is what lead to this accident. I can almost hear the news director screaming into his radio from the newsroom to the helicopter pilot, "CLOSER!! CLOSER!! Channel 5 is closer than us, get CLOSER."

The pool feed idea is what the USA needs. This is never an issue in Canada since Canadian TV news operations are too cheap to have choppers in the first place.

R,


Reminscent of TWILIGHT ZONE. :(
  • 0

#7 Douglas Sunlin

Douglas Sunlin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Student

Posted 28 July 2007 - 11:49 AM

They seem to want to charge the driver of the car with the deaths of the people in choppers. Not sure what to think about that...
  • 0

#8 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:59 PM

They seem to want to charge the driver of the car with the deaths of the people in choppers. Not sure what to think about that...


The news directors are the more obvious choice, but that could set a dangerous precident.
  • 0

#9 Marty Hamrick

Marty Hamrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Oshawa, Ontario

Posted 28 July 2007 - 02:17 PM

It's very sad and tragic indeed.

But after having worked in several TV news rooms I'm surprised this did not happen sooner or more often.


Unfortunately it does.Tragedies happen like this about every 7 to 15 years or so.If it's not news choppers,it's ENG trucks and powerlines.The industry gets on a safety kick for awhile,they calm down the insanity briefly and they get sloppy again.It's cyclical,at least that's what I've seen in the 25 plus years I've been a TV news shooter.

This story brought back a grim reminder for me.Back in 1986 a news chopper for WTLV went down in Jacksonville,Florida killing veteran pilot Buddy Smith,reporter Julie King and seriously injuring photojournalist,Bret Snyder.

It ends up being the responsibilty of the crew in the field to look out for their own safety and that of their competing collegues.There comes a time when you just have to tell the bosses not just no,but hell fu**ing no.
  • 0

#10 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:02 PM

They seem to want to charge the driver of the car with the deaths of the people in choppers. Not sure what to think about that...

I believe there is a law that says if anyone dies, or is injured, as a result of a person committing a felony crime, that person can be held responsible for those deaths or injuries. Those choppers wouldn't have collided if the guy hadn't been doing what he was doing. I believe the law has been around for a while. I'm no expert though....
  • 0

#11 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1584 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:36 PM

But after having worked in several TV news rooms I'm surprised this did not happen sooner or more often.



Considering how local news rooms use their helo's I would say they should not be allowed to have them, i.e. the news cutting to a shot of a man on the LA freeway putting a 12ga in his mouth at 3:30-4:00 during after school kids programming. Local news (and non local too) is a real sewer at times.

-Rob-
  • 0

#12 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:02 PM

It's not just helicopters. Neal Fredericks who used to post on this forum some time ago died in a plane crash. I heard they were filming a shot and he was tied in by a makeshift harness.
  • 0

#13 AdamBray

AdamBray
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Student
  • Austin, Texas

Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:07 PM

Considering how local news rooms use their helo's I would say they should not be allowed to have them, i.e. the news cutting to a shot of a man on the LA freeway putting a 12ga in his mouth at 3:30-4:00 during after school kids programming. Local news (and non local too) is a real sewer at times.

-Rob-



+1

I remember when the bonfire stack collapsed at Texas A&M University killing all those kids. One of the local news choppers was zoomed in so close on the bodies, you could pretty much tell if it was your kid laying there dead or not.
  • 0

#14 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:09 PM

I recall a tornado in Minnesota several years ago. A local news copter moved in right next to it. Recall that tornados pick up bits of debris, like trees and houses, and suck them up the funnel. Also, secondary vortices come out of the clouds with no warning. This pilot could have had a house fall on him while 500' in the air. But he got his scoop and came back alive, so was the local hero that week.
  • 0

#15 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:48 AM

Considering how local news rooms use their helo's I would say they should not be allowed to have them, i.e. the news cutting to a shot of a man on the LA freeway putting a 12ga in his mouth at 3:30-4:00 during after school kids programming. Local news (and non local too) is a real sewer at times.

-Rob-

The real crazy part is that they stayed with the live shot even after he poured gasoline all over his body. What could they reasonably think he was going to do with a shotgun while soaked in gasoline while in a standoff with the police on a freeway overpass? Their excuse was, "Well, we didn't know he was going to kill himself." Baloney.
  • 0

#16 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:51 AM

It's not just helicopters. Neal Fredericks who used to post on this forum some time ago died in a plane crash. I heard they were filming a shot and he was tied in by a makeshift harness.

What happened to Neal is very sad. But the saddest part is that it could have been prevented. Everyone else got out of the plane alive, but he sunk in the water with the plane because he didn't have a quick release or a knife to cut himself out of his harness.
  • 0

#17 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 30 August 2007 - 11:43 PM

I was out of town and on my way to my wife's family reunion in So. Utah when this happened. All her relatives who live in the AZ area were asking me if the pilot Scott Bowerbank was related to me.

Turns out the pilot Scott Bowerbank was my great uncle's son and a second cousin of mine that I never met. He looks almost exactly like my Uncle Joe when he was younger.

I was really sad when I heard the news, but even more so when I discovered he really was related. It sounds like he really was a really well respected chopper pilot, and I would have loved to work with him at some point.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 30 August 2007 - 11:44 PM.

  • 0

#18 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:03 AM

Wow John, I'm really sorry. When I first read the report and saw the name "Bowerbank" I wondered...

I'm not going to point any fingers, but it always saddens me when someone loses their life needlessly when doing something they're passionate about, whether it be shooting images or flying. It just reminds me of how frail we are.
  • 0

#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 31 August 2007 - 01:33 PM

Thanks Michael. Yeah, it was a really weird weekend when I found out. All these people were coming up to me, telling me things they'd read about him and how he was a really popular helicopter pilot among shooters because of his especially smooth maneuvering. And yet I'd never heard of him before.

Definitely is particularly sad under those circumstances.
  • 0

#20 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 31 August 2007 - 03:25 PM

So sorry, Jonathan. :(
  • 0


Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Tai Audio

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Technodolly

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

CineLab