NTSB: KOMO heli crash caught on security cams

Credit: NTSB

NTSB investigators are at a hangar in Auburn where they continue to inspect the wreckage from Tuesday's helicopter crash.

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board says a security camera near the area where a KOMO-TV News helicopter crashed Tuesday morning captured the crash of the AS 350 model helicopter. 

But NTSB Deputy Regional Chief Dennis Hogenson says it’s not clear yet what the images will tell them, and declined to describe in detail what is on the tape.

Also, photos of NTSB investigators released on the agency’s Twitter feed show two investigators studying the helicopter's tail rotor system, which could be relevant, after witnesses say the helicopter seemed to spin in a counter clockwise direction. 

The loss of a tail rotor could cause a loss of control.  The tail rotor allows the pilot to control the direction of the helicopter, along with allowing it to fly straight against the torque from the main rotor that keeps the machine in the air.

Investigators also removed two sections of railing from the catwalk around the helipad.  While the safety agency said Wednesday it did not believe the helicopter hit the KOMO building, the plan was to comb the area further Friday morning. 

The railing sections are being sent to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C., where experts in metallurgy and other materials will study it. 

Hogenson declined to say what the technical experts were being asked to find.

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