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Group 3 Aviation Van Nuys

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A great school, I planned on going there after my test flight but got tansfered to the east coast. Real good people. You just have to wonder why no one wears or promotes the use of helmets? You can't be under the age of 18 in California and ride a bike without a helmet, but fly a helicopter? sure. I won't mind accepting ridicule when is start trianing day one with a gallet on my head.


Thoughts and prayers with the families of the student and the recovering CFI. :(


NTSB Identification: LAX06LA123

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Saturday, February 25, 2006 in Valencia, CA

Aircraft: Schweizer 269C-1, registration: N61466

Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.


This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.


On February 25, 2006, between 1300 and 1440, a Schweizer 269C-1, N61466, cruised into power lines and crashed into a wash about 5 miles southwest of Valencia, California. The helicopter was operated by Group 3 Aviation, Inc., Van Nuys, California, and it was destroyed. The certified flight instructor (CFI) held a commercial pilot certificate, and he was seriously injured. The student pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the instructional flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and it originated from Van Nuys about 1230.


According to the operator, the CFI had acquired part time employment with their flight school in December 2005. During the accident flight he was providing primary flight instruction to the student. This was the second or third flight lesson.


A deputy from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Aero Bureau responded to the accident site. He reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that a small brush fire resulted from the crash, and downed Southern California Edison Company power lines appeared to have been impacted. The lines were not marked to enhance their conspicuity.


The deputy additionally reported to the Safety Board investigator that the helicopter crashed onto the near level ground about 200 feet west of the impacted lines. The helicopter came to rest on its right side. The student pilot was located in the right seat. The right side Plexiglas canopy (bubble) was shattered. The tail boom was intact. All of the helicopter's principal components were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage


Index for Feb2006 | Index of months

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I am A current Student There and The school Has Been Very Supportive and Extremely Responsive after this Tradegy, I recently recommenced Flying after the accident and When I showed up to The School My Instructor Had a Helmet There in his hand for me to wear that day. They Are Extrememly Comfrotable and lightweight (wore it for 2 Hrs. ) I bought one the Same Day. And Now wont fly without One. The School is in the Process of Equiping ALL their Helicopters with them and Promoting the use of Helmets to all Students and Instructors.

Prayers go out to Ryan and His Family.

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That is great news about the use of helmets at Group 3, makes me want to get back to LA and start training even more.


I had a thought, since the cost of insurance drives just about everything in helicopters, (1000 hr requirement, factory training to reduce rates, etc.) it seems as if Mr. Robinson's brother could easily offer premium discounts to schools that use helmets in their training. I think the problem is that helmets in an already tight R-22 might reduce the number of students hence reducing the number of R-22 sold. It makes sense to me if you take their course you are safer thus avoiding accidents and reducing the need to “use” the insurance. Likewise, if you wear a helmet you may walk away from an incident and your estate would not sue the manufacturer.


Seems almost too simple of a solution. The Robinson Company could even manufacture helmets that way they offer a completely vertically integrated company and make money at every turn while providing a safer product.

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