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Guatemala Helicopter Crashes Raise Aviation Safety Concerns

Expert Calls For Investigation Following Two Incidents


Aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have revealed their concerns after two helicopter crashes in Guatemala on the same day led to the deaths of ten people and left three others with serious injuries.

The first incident on Tuesday (February 28th) saw a Bell 206B JetRanger III aircraft come down near Rio Dulce in the country, with all three people on board suffering serious injuries.

However, further disaster struck when a second helicopter operated by the country’s Air Force which was sent to help those involved in the first incident came down en route to the scene, leading to the deaths of seven officers and three other passengers on the flight.

Reports have suggested that bad weather may have played a part in the second crash, which involved a Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter.

Specialist aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell act for a number of people who have suffered serious injuries in air accidents in the UK and abroad, as well as the families of victims killed in such plane and helicopter crashes.

Jim Morris, a Partner and former RAF pilot who specialises in air accident claims, said: “News of these two incidents is hugely concerning and both incidents show the devastating consequences when a rescue attempt goes wrong.

“It is now imperative that authorities in Guatemala work quickly and thoroughly to determine how both of these aircraft came down, considering all possible factors which could have contributed including weather conditions, the actions of the pilots and any technical issues which may have played a role.

“In terms of the latter, one important issue is ensuring that any possible mechanical issues can be identified quickly, as any issue related to either of these models of Bell helicopter could have wide implications on other aircraft in use at present.

“Ultimately, we hope that the accident investigators provide prompt and comprehensive accident reports that identify the causes of these crashes.  This will help ensure that lessons are learned so that the flight safety of helicopter operations can be improved.”