Helicopter crash caught on video during filming of 'Top Gear'



The BBC program "Top Gear" has posted a dramatic video to its YouTube channel depicting a helicopter crash that occurred during the filming of the South Korean version of its show last year.

In it, a high-performance Corvette ZR1 is racing an ex-military AH-1 Cobra helicopter around an Arizona airfield. The show often pits sports cars against unlikely opponents ranging from downhill skiers to rocket man Yves Rossy in challenges that can appear to stretch the limits of reality, but are apparently all too real.

After the Corvette beats the Cobra to the finish line, the low-flying helicopter begins circling back to the staging area when it quickly loses altitude and slams into the ground, its rotors disintegrating and sending debris in all directions as the fuselage rolls over in a cloud of dust.

TV crew members can be seen running away from a nearby production van to avoid being hit by shrapnel, but then, along with the driver of the Corvette, rush to the aid of the helicopter pilot who incredibly suffered only minor injuries in the accident, which occurred in March of last year.

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The exact cause of the accident has not been detailed.

A BBC spokesman tells that the footage was included in the broadcast of the South Korean show, and had previously been available on its YouTube channel, but was added to the English-language "Top Gear" YouTube channel just yesterday.

Originally a British program, "Top Gear" has been franchised in several countries, including South Korea, Russia and the United States, where it is broadcast on  the History Channel.

The February 5 episode of the American show featured host Tanner Foust trying to outrun members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne division led by two OH-58 Kiowa helicopters across Fort Campbell while driving a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG SUV.

He lost, and the helicopters made it through without incident.

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