In Phoenix and surrounding cities, the media helicopters are often used by the police to track car chases as well as other crimes as they are
happening. It effectively gives them 6 eyes in the sky instead of 1. As a result if anyone assisting the police or innocent bystanders are hurtkilled
the person in question that broke the law can have additional charges pressed against them.
Being charged does not mean they will ultimately receive a penalty for the incident.
Examples of what they can be charged with:
If they flee police and run over someone resulting in a person's death or injury.
If they drive recklessly and cause someone to lose control because they were startled or otherwise distracted and collided with someone or something
If a civilian assisting the police is hurt or killed while assisting the police (includes the news helicopter).
Any property damage they cause.
What they cannot be charged with:
If somewhere across town someone gets involved in an accident completely unrelated to the chase.
The reason they can be charged is that if they had not broken the law and involved the police in a chase the accidents would likely not have
I have a scanner and routinely listen to the news helicopters, they are in constant contact with the police and the other helicopters in the area. If
the police lose sight of a suspect, the news helicopters will help the police in finding them again or directing them to where they are if they
"Prediction" based on eyewitness reports and the FAA's spokesperson's evaluation from yesterday:
Both pilots will receive "blame" for the accident for not keeping safe distances and watching out for each other. The channel 15 pilot will receive
the greater responsibility as he was in motion (circling) just before the collision.
From the still picture taken just after the crash you can see the 15 helicopter is nearly intact except for it's blades. The 3 helicopter was chopped
to pieces. The means that the 15 helicopter was below the 3 helicopter at the moment of impact.
If you watch the video of the incident taken from the 15 helicopter, near the end of the video as the sound of the crash is being turned down you can
hear the 15 pilot screaming as his helicopter falls out of the sky.
You can read the incident report at www.ntsb.gov...
when the investigation is
complete in a couple of months.