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Baton Rouge PD R-44 fatal 26th March 2023

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Baton Rouge PD R-44 fatal 26th March 2023

Old 29th Mar 2023, 19:19
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Truly tenuous to claim the helicopter incident was the responsibility of the car driver, unless he did something which can be causally attributed to the crash.

Still, if the defendant has a weak attorney maybe the charge can be made to stick. Sanderson‘s attorney in the current Paltrow ski accident case shows just how inept some attorneys can be. And he is surely getting paid a lot more than what this defendant’s attorney is likely to get.

As pilots do we think the driver caused these deaths? Or was it most likely the result of threats and errors that sit with the operation of the helicopter?
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Old 29th Mar 2023, 21:31
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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It appears the BRPD called off the pursuit, according to the linked report, so if the accident didn't happen during the actual pursuit it would be difficult to pin this on the driver.

Since they didn't know the helicopter had crashed, they must have called off the pursuit, as they are allowed to, if there is no immediate threat to other people.

Again, difficult to pin it on the driver if he wasn't being pursued at the time of the accident.
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Old 29th Mar 2023, 22:57
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Homicide is the death of a human being.

Manslaughter is one manner of death which is a crime.....as is Murder....as is Natural Causes.

Having some understanding of Law helps in these discussions.

There is some reason to accept the local Prosecutor moved forward with the charges as it has been done.

What say we save the argument about the criminal charges for the Courts and limit this discussion to the aviation aspects of it instead.

The one comment that does relate to aviation that is similar to the liability of police officers that also pertains to pilots is the risk of criminal or civil prosecution for how we conduct our professional duties.

It is tragic enough to get crippled or killed in an accident then wind up in Court afterwards as the Defendant in a legal proceeding.



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Old 30th Mar 2023, 05:40
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Originally Posted by SASless

There is some reason to accept the local Prosecutor moved forward with the charges as it has been done.

The one comment that does relate to aviation that is similar to the liability of police officers that also pertains to pilots is the risk of criminal or civil prosecution for how we conduct our professional duties.
Clearly if officers pursuing someone in the line of their duty then kill someone (eg traffic accident caused by the officers), then a liability may be brought. Unless there is something odd and unknown about this case, making the defendant liable for being chased is a perversion of the principle.

My guess is that it is leverage: The prosecutor dangles manslaughter, public defender then accepts an array of charges at high penalty and manslaughter is dropped. No trial, no detail reaches the public domain.

Is the a/c likely to equipped with a CVR if doing LE? If not, the NTSB aren‘t going to have much to go on to clear any of this up.
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 11:34
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FWIW: not to derail this thread much farther, the laws in LA are straight forward. If you cause the death of another during the commission of a crime you can be charged in that death regardless their connection to the event. There are various past examples of this. The difference here is people died in an aircraft. In one case a carjacker fleeing police caused another vehicle to lose control and hit a tree where a pax in that car died as a result. No different than the R44 hitting a tree. The car jacker got 5 years for manslaughter. In another, a cop was in full pursuit with lights/siren when he hit another vehicle killing 2 people. The next week that officer was arrested for negligent homicide. Different charge same scenario. What the officer did was against the law. Given this accident involved a PD aircraft I'm sure more info will be released sooner than later.
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 11:56
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Originally Posted by wrench1
If you cause the death of another during the commission of a crime you can be charged in that death regardless their connection to the event. There are various past examples of this. The difference here is people died in an aircraft. In one case a carjacker fleeing police caused another vehicle to lose control and hit a tree where a pax in that car died as a result. No different than the R44 hitting a tree. The car jacker got 5 years for manslaughter.
But it is different. Unless the actions of the driver have some causal influence on the helicopter crashing, it is merely a contingent event.

Nor sure this is thread drift either, as virtually nothing is known about this accident and yet someone has already been charged with killing the pilots. Pretty relevant I‘d say.

Now if the police saw something, or had a hunch and followed it up, then something caused a loss of control, like getting shot at or blinded with a laser, then it would be a different matter. But that’s a lot of what ifs for an operation that didn’t even have flight monitoring and a dearth of information from the police to any such effect.

The driver should be charged for what they did. If they had no direct connection to the crash, no one is helped by pretending he was the problem.

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Old 30th Mar 2023, 12:56
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This speculation based upon very vague and quite limited news reporting is a waste of time particularly re the criminal charges which at best is a collateral issue to that of the focus of this thread.

What say we get back to the issues that deal directly. with the crash of the helicopter and the loss of two Police Officers who were the crew of the destroyed aircraft.

I posted a link to the Louisiana Statute that pertains and it is quite clear in its text....the Prosecutor has filed charges (based upon information not contained in any news report) and all of that shall be dealt with by the Louisiana Criminal Justices system.

As to the crash....remember the crash....it will be investigated. by the appropriate authorities and some resolution of those issues will be made.

If you are going to pontificate upon the causes of the crash do try to add to the discussion rather than run off peering down Rabbit Holes.

The circumstances surrounding this crash are interesting and worthy of discussion but what say we do so with some clear of focus of what we discuss.

Our frame of reference has to be with the Rules, Regulations, and Laws that pertain to this specific tragedy.

Lets start with it was a "Public Use" aircraft and operation which affords the Operator a much more flexible set of Rules by the FAA.

That shifts a bigger burden onto the Operator as a result as regards to safety practices and the like.

Legitimate questions exist re fitnesses/suitability of the aircraft, crew, and operational control.

Those are sufficient io hold our attention rather than trying to play Clarence Darrow or Aticus Finch over related but irrelevant issues to the actual accident and its causes.



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Old 30th Mar 2023, 13:58
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Nice of you to define the terms of reference SASless. I can only presume that when you said “There is some reason to accept the local prosecutor moved forward with charges as it had been done“ this was based on something more substantial than blind faith, acceptance or indeed speculation.


Manslaughter charges for causing the deaths of a crew have been brought before the NTSB have said a dickie - and as the NTSB is the competent authority on aviation accidents and their causes, maybe its right to question what the local prosecutor thinks they are doing?
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 15:25
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Lets recap on the facts that we do know:

1) No news article containing the words Louisiana, Sheriff, Deputy or Parish is ever an article about something good happening

2) Lifting off in the dark at 02:26 for a high-speed low-level car chase in such a rural area is probably not a great idea in any helicopter; particularly so in a small light civil helicopter

3) Helicopter forums are not the best source of information re legal matters
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 16:10
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And posting incorrect definitions is not helpful to the debate.
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 17:33
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Torque,

I base my on the Louisiana State Law which I posted the Link that contains the full text of the Law.

If you read the law you will see a reference to "Violent Crimes" that can lead to charges of Manslaughter upon the death of a person as a result of any of the many crimes listed.

Specifically , section 39 in that long list has to do with fleeing from an Officer which is among the crimes the suspect was charged with in addition to the Manslaughter charge.

The information required to prefer those charges does not require the results of any accident investigation.

Yes, the Defense Counsel can raise all sorts of arguments and challenges and in time could feasibly include the results of the accident investigation or try.....during the Trial if one occurs.

The criminal investigation will define the time line and chain of events that occurred during the pursuit and that will be examined closely by the Defense Counsel of the Suspect.

The UK System is not much different in general terms I would imagine. The AAIB Investigation is separate from the Police and other authorities as evidenced by the many discussions here over the years.




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Old 30th Mar 2023, 20:30
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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FAA has updated their accident database report inked in #15 from "tree strike" to "circumstances unknown."
FAA Updated Report


EDIT: updated local subscription article as well. By Paul Cobler
The Advocate, Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. — In the moments before a Baton Rouge Police Department helicopter crashed, killing the two officers aboard, it rapidly ascended as high as 1,300 feet and see-sawed between speeds of 40 mph, 102 mph, and 30 mph, according to publicly available flight data.

The data, from tracking website Flightaware, lends credence to what fellow pilots and friends of Sgt. David Poirrier and Cpl. Scotty Canezaro have been saying since the crash: Something must have happened before the helicopter's tail rotor struck a tree, because the pilots would not have intentionally been flying low enough for that to happen.

An intial report by the Federal Aviation Administration said the rotor striking the tree caused the helicopter to crash land upside down. However, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting a more thorough investigation to gather more information about what happened before that.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said investigators will study data from an on-board flight tracker that broadcasts and records information about an aircraft's location, altitude and ground speed every second. Investigators have also removed the wreckage from the scene to study it.

Knudson said the agency's investigation will focus on three areas:

— The licenses, ratings and training activities of the pilots, and information like their activities over the 72 hours prior to the crash and their sleep history before the incident.

— The aircraft's maintenance and history and any indicators of pre-crash failure.

— The operating environment that morning, meaning the weather and communications.

A preliminary report will be issued in the next two to three weeks, while the full analysis could take a year or two.

Several pilots told The Advocate it's impossible to know what went wrong until the federal investigation is completed. But they said the sharp changes in speed and altitude could have resulted from a mechanical failure or clouds causing the pilot to become disoriented.

Poirrier, 47, and Canezaro, 38, were killed when the helicopter they were piloting in pursuit of a hit-and-run suspect crashed sometime after 2:30 a.m., according to the FAA.

Deputies with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office searched a field between North Winterville Road and Bueche Road after receiving a call from a family member from one of the victims requesting a search at 10:38 a.m., according to the agency. The crashed helicopter was discovered in the field and BRPD was notified shortly after, according to the sheriff's office.

SUDDEN CHANGES

The helicopter took off from the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport at 2:26 a.m. to support a high speed chase taking place on the ground below, according to BRPD and the Flightaware data.

The data is not continuous; it maps points in time every 15-20 seconds.

The weather in the Baton Rouge area was mostly cloudy, with 7 mph winds from the south. The cloud ceiling, or the height above the ground to the lowest layer of clouds, was 900 feet, according to National Weather Service readings from the airport.

For most of the roughly 12 minutes of the flight tracked by Flightaware, the helicopter did not show any major, sudden changes in speed or altitude. At the lowest tracked point, it was still roughly 300 feet up — well above the treeline.

But the changes became much more abrupt just after 2:35 a.m. Over the next two minutes, the speed dropped from 84 mph to 56 mph in 16 seconds; rose from 67 mph mph to 98 mph in 20 seconds; and soared from 40 mph to 102 mph in 17 seconds.

Over that same two minutes, the aircraft swiftly gained altitude, going from about 400 feet to 1,300 feet up. That's when the data stops.

At the end of the flight, the helicopter also rapidly changed directions; it was headed west, south, east and north all within the last few minutes, the data says.

MULTIPLE FLIGHTS

The final flight was the helicopter's fifth in 24 hours, according to Flightaware. The four flights before the fatal crash covered:

— A 17-mile flight from the Baton Rouge airport to southeast East Baton Rouge Parish from 7:29 a.m. to 7:39 a.m. Saturday.

— A 16-mile return flight to the Baton Rouge airport from 1:31 p.m. to 1:39 p.m. Saturday.

— A 61-mile flight over much of the city of Baton Rouge from 7:48 p.m. to 8:29 p.m. Saturday.

— A 43-mile flight near the Baton Rouge airport and around some of the city from 10:55 p.m. to 11:26 p.m. Saturday.

All told, the helicopter had traveled 137 miles in 24 hours. It's not clear how much of that time Poirrier and Canezaro were flying; the department has two other helicopter operators.





Last edited by wrench1; 30th Mar 2023 at 21:25. Reason: add content
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Old 30th Mar 2023, 21:12
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So the prosecutor, without knowing the timeline for the crash, which may well have occurred after the pursuit was terminated by the PD, can prefer charges?????

The driver may well have been guilty of fleeing from an Officer when the pursuit was in progress but since the time of the helicopter crash seems unknown, surely any LE official worth his salt would wait until he had more facts before jumping the gun like that.
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 00:04
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
Night ops in an R44? Come on!

And the FAA need to ask the French or the Brits to make their VFR charts. They should come with NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION stamped on them.
LOL.

Tell me you're British without telling me you're British.

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Old 31st Mar 2023, 03:30
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Interesting info wrench posted.
The cloud ceiling, or the height above the ground to the lowest layer of clouds, was 900 feet, according to National Weather Service readings from the airport.

For most of the roughly 12 minutes of the flight tracked by Flightaware, the helicopter did not show any major, sudden changes in speed or altitude. At the lowest tracked point, it was still roughly 300 feet up — well above the treeline.

But the changes became much more abrupt just after 2:35 a.m. Over the next two minutes, the speed dropped from 84 mph to 56 mph in 16 seconds; rose from 67 mph mph to 98 mph in 20 seconds; and soared from 40 mph to 102 mph in 17 seconds.

Over that same two minutes, the aircraft swiftly gained altitude, going from about 400 feet to 1,300 feet up. That's when the data stops.

At the end of the flight, the helicopter also rapidly changed directions; it was headed west, south, east and north all within the last few minutes, the data says.
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 03:59
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
An R44 in the US is just a basic ship, no AI unless instrument certified. Maybe that one was, maybe not. If youre saving here, maybe you are also saving there.

And if manouevering lowish close to a big settlement, and the references are changing from lit horizon to dark depending on track, and moving a goofy stick that needs carefully calibrated inputs, I think some holes in a cheese could line up very quickly. There is really not much room for input error and recovery.
No R44 is instrument certified, but most of the ones I've seen have had at least an artificial horizon, and many now even have glass cockpits. Plus, the police version of the R44 has some pretty cool ****.
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 08:36
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But an artificial horizon will save your life if you go IIMC, providing you are trained to fly instruments. Not so much any of the 'cool stuff' on the aircraft.

Last edited by Chock Puller; 31st Mar 2023 at 13:35. Reason: Profanity
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 08:37
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Originally Posted by Turbo Encabulator
LOL.

Tell me you're British without telling me you're British.
Tell me you are American without telling me you are American..............
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 09:07
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Originally Posted by megan
Interesting info wrench posted.
Yes, that does point towards the possibility of IIMC and a disorientated pilot.

If so, not the first and sadly won't be the last.
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 09:38
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Yes, don‘t think many will be surprised if it comes down to exactly that. And 2 pilots on board, which would normally mitigate disorientation. 2 pilots, but a stick with one grip mid-air, no attitude datum, no trim, no damping - odds of a successful intervention by non-disoriented colleague?


I was assuming they had at least a high and stable cloud base. But charging off low in those conditions in an aircraft without stick trim? What kind of work conditions are those and where is the safety culture?
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