According to FAA documents, the news chopper that crashed was owned by an Illinois company called Helicopters Incorporated. According to the NTSB there have been five incidents involving aircraft either owned or operated by Helicopters Incorporated aircraft since 1994.
The last Helicopters Incorporated crash was in October 2008. The KTRK chopper, on its way to a breaking news story fell from the sky and into the woods in south Texas near Houston. The official cause of the crash was a loss of control for undetermined reasons.
In 2007 a KDFW helicopter owned by Helicopters Incorporated crashed in Dallas. There was one serious injury. According to Federal investigators the cause of the crash was the failure of a compressor blade.
The helicopter involved in the KOMO crash was also used for a number of years at two Boston stations.
The FAA registry doesn't list any previous incidents. The FAA registry also says Helicopters Inc. owns more than 70 aircraft in the country handling primarily the business of newsgathering.
Aviation expert Bill Lawrence said the company's safety records will hold the key, “I'd probably be looking at the maintenance records of the company.”
As for the helicopter, the Eurocopter was built in 2003 and it's known as a very good performer.
“It's used extensively by public service organizations, the border patrol, police organizations and firefighters use them,” Lawrence said.
The NTSB is pulling the maintenance records for the aircraft and will comb through them looking for answers in this crash.