Helicopter Pilot's Failure to Maintain Stable Hover Leads to Rollover Crash

This case study delves into a helicopter crash incident due to the pilot's failure to maintain a stable hover during take-off, leading to a rollover.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 26, 2024

Helicopter on landing pad

Case Overview

This case study delves into an unfortunate helicopter crash. The pilot, during the take-off phase, was unable to maintain a stable hover at a safe altitude. This lapse resulted in aircraft drift and subsequent rollover, leading to the crash.

The focus of this case is on understanding the best practices for helicopter pilots and determining liability based on these standards. An expert with extensive experience in helicopter piloting and training was consulted to provide insights into the safety protocols for safe take-off.

Questions to the Aviation expert and their responses


Could you describe your professional background in helicopter piloting, particularly as it pertains to training other pilots?

I have logged over 3000 hours of flight time in helicopters and have been an instructor since 1979. My teaching experience spans various types of aircraft, including providing initial qualification instruction at a U.S. Army flight school.


What safety protocols are in place to ensure a safe take-off and prevent incidents such as the one described from occurring?

There are numerous safety protocols designed to ensure a safe take-off and mitigate incidents like this one. A critical protocol is that the instructor pilot should always keep their hands close to the controls while observing the student. It's through timely intervention by the instructor that incidents such as this can be prevented.

About the expert

This expert is a highly accomplished professional in the aviation and risk management industry, with a specialization in materials and properties laboratories, engineering operations, safety management systems, quality, flight tests, and unmanned aerial systems. They began their career as a United States Army pilot before advancing to senior positions within the Federal Aviation Administration, where they significantly reduced the number of fatal accidents over a five-year period. Currently serving as a consultant at an international safety and risk management company, this expert brings extensive knowledge from their academic background in aeronautical technology and aerospace management, coupled with recognition for lifetime achievement in flight safety.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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