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HomeAircraftHelicopterSafety - RC Helis are not toys › NO CHARGES FILED IN TAMPA FL HELI ACCIDENT
04-27-2010 05:00 PM  8 years agoPost 1
BLUETHUNDER

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Glass City

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http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/ne...in-copter-crash

No charges in copter crash

Updated: Monday, 26 Apr 2010, 9:45 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 26 Apr 2010, 9:45 PM EDT
MyFoxTampaBay.com staff report

TAMPA - The men who were flying the remote control helicopter that crashed into a young woman will not be charged.
Maresa Poole, 17, was seriously injured in a South Tampa park when a miniature, remote-controlled helicopter landed on her. She had a gash in her head that required multiple stitches, and one of her hands was smashed.
Tampa police concluded there isn't enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime. They say Poole was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Their investigation proved the chopper's motor did malfunction, and that is what caused it to fall from the sky.
They also said that the men's 911 call and prompt medical attention were instrumental in mitigating Poole's injuries.

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04-27-2010 05:02 PM  8 years agoPost 2
snjbird

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Kissimmee, Florida- USA

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Here is the AMA stance on what happened too...
An incident occurred April 16th when an AMA member who was flying a 450-size electric helicopter in a Tampa, FL, public park lost control of the model and injured a young woman walking in the park. It appears that after calling 911, the pilot and his friends stayed with the injured person until EMTs arrived, then picked up their equipment and left. The local authorities will probably cite the men for ignoring a local ordinance against flying in that park.

This is an unfortunate incident that casts a cloud over what we do as model aviation enthusiasts. The local FOX News affiliate picked up on the story and ran a piece that included video that, by most standards, could be considered pretty graphic.
The potential for collateral harm to all of us as a result of this incident is significant. I’ve been asked a number of times whether or not the pilot and his friends involved were AMA members. In the end I’m not sure it matters. The news piece didn’t say, “Park visitor injured by AMA member (or non-AMA member) flying a model helicopter.” It said, “Park visitor injured by toy model helicopter.” The non-modeling public that watched that news story will now have a negative perception of model aviation and question the safety of our models. To complicate matters further, the incident occurred in a major metropolitan community park system that already had a ban on flying models. This incident will reverberate throughout the country and, no doubt, will become a topic of discussion with authorities of other park systems. AMA has many chartered clubs that have operated safely for years in local parks, and we are watching closely to make sure that we do what we can to support our members and clubs that may be challenged now as a result of this incident.

However, what follows is the reason I decided to write this column. I’ve been a modeler for a long time. In all of those years, other than regarding the frequency reallocation issue a couple of decades ago, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the aeromodeling community come together as it has with this situation.

AMA has an internal response plan for incidents like this. We were notified of the accident by an officer of the International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association (IRCHA), one of AMA’s Special Interest Groups. This triggered our response, which included working with IRCHA to identify a local responsible, articulate, RC helicopter pilot, Rolando Perez, who could speak on camera. AMA’s public relations manager spoke with Mr. Perez to go over significant points that should be made regarding AMA’s Safety Code and record. In addition, our PR manager spoke directly with the FOX reporter, by phone about model aviation and all of the positive aspects of modeling. A statement was issued by AMA.

At the same time, modelers from 33 states and 14 countries – some AMA members and some not – came together on popular Internet forums to express their concern over the incident and what had happened to this young woman. An initiative was even launched to generate donations to help offset expenses. Members of the local RC helicopter community made the effort to ensure that the local media were made aware of all of the positive aspects of model aviation and the value we bring to communities. As a result, in a short follow-up piece FOX News spoke about the positive “groundswell” of reaction from the “national modeling community” and the concerns expressed by modelers. Go to http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/ne...craft-operators to see this coverage.
The mother of the young woman expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support she has received from concerned aeromodelers.

Sometimes it takes something like this to make everyone realize that the common denominator between all of us is model aviation. It doesn’t matter what type of model we fly, or maybe even whether or not we are all AMA members. While it was a terribly unfortunate incident, it provided us with the opportunity to show that the majority of us are responsible, safety-conscious individuals, and that we are protective of what we do as model aviators. And this is why I wrote this column. Out of a bad incident came a lot of good. The public has now had the opportunity to see the positive in what we do and that we are a caring, concerned group. The efforts by everyone here will pay some dividend somewhere. It was a good job by all. And because of the actions of everyone involved in reacting to this accident, I think I’ve maintained my string of writing about the positive things that aeromodeling has to offer.
See you next time…

Dave Mathewson, AMA President

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04-27-2010 05:06 PM  8 years agoPost 3
whirlyspud

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USA

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450 size?

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04-27-2010 05:16 PM  8 years agoPost 4
snjbird

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Kissimmee, Florida- USA

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Interesting choice of words...
They also said that the men's 911 call and prompt medical attention were instrumental in mitigating Poole's injuries.
I have heard of mitigating circumstances? And I goggled the word, but never found it used quite in this way???

Any of you smart guys seen it used this way before?

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04-27-2010 05:42 PM  8 years agoPost 5
Dakine

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OC, Commifornia

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Mitigating injuries, similarly:

Reasonable action, where possible, to avoid additional injury or loss.

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04-27-2010 06:31 PM  8 years agoPost 6
Wave

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Illinois

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Well at least the police did prove that Align electronics were the root cause of the accident. Civil action against Align would be proper and expected in this situation. They have skated along with sub par quality on there electronics since day one.

If companies will not voluntarily improve there quality ( when death and serious injury can occur ) then they deserve to be sued. Maybe look into class action status.

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04-27-2010 06:41 PM  8 years agoPost 7
snjbird

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Kissimmee, Florida- USA

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450 size?
I know, how many of us were thinking it was a 500 or a 600. I would never have guess a 450 could do that much damage! Makes you think, doesn't it?

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04-27-2010 06:41 PM  8 years agoPost 8
Carey

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Allentown USA

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450 size?
4500 headspeed??

Maybe he dumped his 600 before the 'incident'.

No CRMINAL charges folks. CIVIL charges are sure as hell a coming.

A long time ago, I was in a fist fight that required a hospital visit, while I technically didn't commit a crime, I sure as hell had to write that guy a few checks to help pay for the damages. Was worth every penny!

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04-27-2010 06:44 PM  8 years agoPost 9
outhouse

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auburn ca

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Wave

do you know it was a align ESC being used.??? or assuming???

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04-27-2010 06:46 PM  8 years agoPost 10
bkervaski

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Birmingham, AL, USA

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Will an electric motor keep running if the ESC fails? The damage it did looks like it's from a running heli, not one "landing".

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04-27-2010 06:50 PM  8 years agoPost 11
RCHeliJim

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Orem, UT USA

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Well at least the police did prove that Align electronics were the root cause of the accident. Civil action against Align would be proper and expected in this situation. They have skated along with sub par quality on there electronics since day one.
This is the problem with our country, always looking for who we can sue The police are not trained electronics experts and did not prove what was at fault at least not enough to satisfy a court case. A faulty motor or ESC did not cause an injury, they may have caused the heli to crash, but it was the placement of the helicopter that caused the injury - flying in a public park in the vicinity of people is what caused the injury in the end.

I hope you are wrong and this does not end up being a suit against manufacturers, if so - we can all say goodbye to anything affordable again. Though I was not there, I still believe that the ultimate responsibility should always be placed on a pilot for choosing his flying location, equipment, altitude, safety concerns, etc.

BTW - I have had ESCs fail from very reputable manufacturers as well (Castle and TP in my cases).
Will an electric motor keep running if the ESC fails? The damage it did looks like it's from a running heli, not one "landing".
My thoughts exactly....



Go Fly, Have Fun!!
-Team Quick UK

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04-27-2010 07:02 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Wave

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Illinois

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RCHeliJim, I for one have no problem paying a bit more if I will be getting a quality product.

Too many cases of exploding Trex's and Align ESC's in flames.

Before Align came along most helis were of decent quality.

Don't get me wrong I own Align helis and like them, but without a doubt, they were able to dominate the market and maximize profits precisely because they cut corners and used substandard components.

Not hard to put other companies out of business when you do not care about the safety of the end user.

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04-27-2010 07:05 PM  8 years agoPost 13
Wave

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Illinois

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Outhouse, I was just assuming.

Align 100amp ESC's do have the worst quality record of all the Align ESC's.

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04-27-2010 07:13 PM  8 years agoPost 14
Wave

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Illinois

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RCHeliJim, About the police not being experts in electronics, I agree.

It would not be very difficult to hire a PhD EE expert witness to testify about the substandard electronic circuits employed by Align.

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04-27-2010 07:20 PM  8 years agoPost 15
tj1

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ireland

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i wonder how much money was raised for this girl from runryder and other heli forums
dont see the post any more ,,,

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04-27-2010 07:30 PM  8 years agoPost 16
twguns

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Indianapolis, IN

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$11,212. and change as of last evening.

They're discussing the cut off date as the amount is nearing the $13K IRS tax free cutoff for the gift reciever...

bigTim

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04-27-2010 07:52 PM  8 years agoPost 17
koppter

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Virginia

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wave: way to turn a serious situation into your own bully pulpit to spew another Align rant. You know nothing about the components used, their history, or even if that was the problem, but you condemn on hearsay. Meanwhile, the girl is recovering from her wounds. Sometimes its best to look at the big picture and not try to seize every opportunity to voice an opinion. even in the best of situations, with military quality electronics, flying rc in vicinity of non modelers people is stupid and that's the lesson here, not whether or not you think the equipment was at fault.

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04-27-2010 08:12 PM  8 years agoPost 18
daman691003

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bellingham, ma

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well looks like they were inocent after all, only guilty of bad flying practices. on the other forum guys were ready to hang this kid with out knowing the facts. Look now INOCENT. Please remember that these are peoples lives when you jump to some conclusions without facts.. thanks
George

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04-27-2010 09:27 PM  8 years agoPost 19
Justin Stuart (RIP)

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Plano, Texas

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The fact that criminal charges were not filed does not give the rest of us permission to take our helis out to the local park and start buzzing over the heads of children and old people. Let's make one thing clear here: This woman would have died if the helicopter had hit her throat instead of her arm (which she held up to protect her face). We need to stop flying around people and stop flying at parks when there are people present. I don't want to see another article like this in a few months, but instead of donating money to the victim, we'll be donating money to the victim's family.

DON'T FLY IN A CROWDED PARK. IT'S NOT SAFE.

Avant RC
Scorpion Power Systems
Thunder Power RC
Kontronik Drives

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04-27-2010 09:41 PM  8 years agoPost 20
bkervaski

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Birmingham, AL, USA

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DON'T FLY IN A CROWDED PARK. IT'S NOT SAFE.
Exactly ... Common sense prevails ...

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