Chopper Company Calls NY Times Report ‘Fake News’

Chopper Company Calls NY Times Report ‘Fake News’


CALLING IT FAKE NEWS. CBS2 LISA ROZNER HAS MORE. Reporter: WHEN THE CHOPPER WENT DOWN MARCH 11, THE FIVE PASSENGERS ON BOARD DROWNED. THEY WERE WEARING HARNESSES, TETHERED TO THE INSIDE OF THE HELICOPTER. THE ONLY SURVIVOR WAS THE PILOT, RICHARD VANCE, WHO WAS ABLE TO GET OUT BY TAKING OFF A STANDARD SEAT BELT. ACCORDING TO A REPORT IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, SOME PILOTS AT FLYING ION, A TOUR COMPANY, SAY THEY TOLD EXECUTIVES THE HARNESSES WERE UNSAFE. TWO MONTHS EARLIER THEY REQUESTED MORE SUITABLE SAFETY GEAR. THERE IS NO WAY TO GET OUT. THEY’RE NOT APPROVED BY THE FAA, SO THEY ARE JUST SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINTS YOU HAVE TO APPROVE YOURSELF. Reporter: BILL RICHARDS IS A VETERAN PILOT WHO IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE FLYING ION, BUT EMPLOYEES TOLD HIM THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TOOLS THE COMPANY GAVE PASSENGERS. A KNIFE LIKE THIS ONE THAT THEY WOULD USE TO CUT THE HARNESSES FREE IN AN EMERGENCY. THE IDEA SOMEONE HANDS A PASSENGER A KNIFE AS A MEANS IS NOW AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE LUDICROUS. Reporter: THE TRAGIC FLIGHT HAD NO DOORS, ALLOWING PASSENGERS TO TAKE PHOTOS. THE FAA PROHIBITING DOORS WITH FLIGHTS WITH HARNESSES. BUT A MONTH LATER, THE COMPANY ADVERTISED IT IS DOORS OFF SEASON. IT IS VERY LUCRATIVE. IT’S WHAT THEY WOULD NORMALLY GET. I WOULD SAY IT’S VERY, IF THEY GET A LOT OF BOOKINGS, IT IS VERY LUCRATIVE. Reporter: IN A STATEMENT, THE COMPANY SAYS, “WE FIRMLY DENY THE ALLEGATION THAT ANYONE AT FLYING ION DID NOT HEAVE ISSUES RAISED BY PILOTS AND THAT WE FAILED TO RESPOND TO SAFETY CONCERNS.” FLYING ION TAKES GREAT PRIDE IN OUR OPERATIONS.

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