VIC Morrow Helicopter Video

The frightening video footage of actor Vic Morrow being crushed to death under a plummeting helicopter during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie is seared into Hollywood’s collective memory. When the graphic footage leaked showing the exact moment that Morrow and two child actors were killed in the 1982 accident, it cemented the tragedy as one of the most notorious on-set disasters ever captured on film. The so-called “Vic Morrow helicopter video” provoked outrage over its senseless loss of life and galvanized efforts to implement stronger safety measures for all film productions. While the chilling video lasts less than a minute, its impact has lasted decades by forcing Hollywood to reckon with the dangerous unpreparedness that claimed three lives on camera that fateful July night. Please continue to follow for more updates on this story.

VIC Morrow Helicopter Video
VIC Morrow Helicopter Video

Helicopter Crash on Twilight Zone Set Kills Actor Vic Morrow and 2 Children

A tragic helicopter crash occurred during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie at Indian Dunes in Santa Clarita, CA on July 23, 1982. The accident killed veteran actor Vic Morrow, 53, and child actors Myca Dinh Le, 7, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, 6. The three were filming a scene for the Vietnam War segment of the film when a helicopter spun out of control and fell directly on them, resulting in instant death. The crash sent shockwaves through Hollywood and led to increased scrutiny over set safety protocols.

Twilight Zone Movie in Production with Actor Vic Morrow

Twilight Zone: The Movie was based on the popular 1950s TV anthology series The Twilight Zone. The film featured four segments directed by different directors, including one set in the Vietnam War that was helmed by director John Landis and starred Vic Morrow as a bigoted man transported back in time. Morrow was a seasoned actor who had over 50 film and TV credits by 1982, including roles in classics like Blackboard Jungle and The Bad News Bears.

Child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen were brought onto the set illegally, without the proper permits and paperwork required for employing minors. This violation of California child labor laws would come to light after the accident. Associates of the production approached the children’s parents about having them appear in the film, downplaying the extent of their involvement.

Helicopter Spins Out of Control During Explosive Scene

The fatal scene was scheduled to be shot at Indian Dunes, a popular film ranch in Santa Clarita known for its rugged terrain and flexibility to portray distant locales. For this scene, Morrow was to carry the two child actors across a river while being pursued by a Bell UH-1 “Huey” helicopter piloted by Vietnam veteran Dorcey Wingo. Wingo hovered the helicopter approximately 25 feet above the ground while explosives were detonated nearby to simulate weapons fire from the aircraft.

In positioning for the next camera shot, Wingo turned the helicopter 180 degrees to the left so that the tail rotor was now hovering directly over the detonations. When one of the mortar effects exploded, the metal lid blew off and struck the spinning tail rotor. This caused the tail rotor to detach, sending the helicopter spinning wildly out of control.

Rotor Strikes Metal Lid, Causing Crash onto Vic Morrow and Child Actors

With the tail rotor compromised, pilot Dorcey Wingo fought to regain control of the helicopter but could not stop its uncontrolled descent. The helicopter fell directly onto Morrow as he was crossing the river with Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen in his arms. All three were killed instantly when struck by the main rotor blades upon impact. The chaotic scene was captured on film, as cameras continued rolling during the actual crash.

Wingo and three camera operators onboard the helicopter survived with injuries. Tragically, Morrow and the two child actors had no chance to escape the plummeting aircraft. Bystanders rushed to pull the mangled bodies of the victims from the wreckage as emergency crews raced to the scene. However, their lives could not be saved after sustaining horrific, fatal blows from the helicopter blades.

In the wake of the devastating accident, multiple investigations uncovered troubling safety issues and labor violations connected to the production. John Landis and other members of the film crew were found to have been warned in advance about potential hazards related to the helicopter and special effects. However, these concerns were dismissed or ignored.

Landis additionally violated child labor laws by hiring the two children, aged just 6 and 7 years old, to work without the proper permits. The children were being paid under the table, which was another violation of regulations related to minor employment. When all of these infringements came to light, Landis was charged with involuntary manslaughter for his negligence.

After an emotional 1987 trial, Landis and four co-defendants were ultimately acquitted. The prosecutor was unable to prove the high threshold of recklessness required for involuntary manslaughter. Nevertheless, the trial firmly established greater legal accountability for safety lapses on film and TV sets.

In the aftermath, the film industry implemented strict new safety protocols to prevent such needless loss of life. The families of the victims also filed wrongful death lawsuits, which were settled out of court. While legal repercussions continued for years, the human loss of three vibrant lives could never be rectified.

Please note that all information presented in this article has been obtained from a variety of sources, including and several other newspapers. Although we have tried our best to verify all information, we cannot guarantee that everything mentioned is correct and has not been 100% verified. Therefore, we recommend caution when referencing this article or using it as a source in your own research or report.
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