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Top Gear helicopter crashes while filming stunt

Published February 11, 2013

One of the things that makes Top Gear great is their penchant for pitting unlikely forms of transportation against the automobile. Be it a BMX bike, a boat or even a helicopter, the boys look like they’re always having a blast.

Regional versions of the hit BBC show have taken to trying to mimic the original show’s crazy stunts. The results are often less than spectacular.

Recently, during the filming of a segment of Top Gear Korea, the plan was to race a Corvette ZR1 against a lethal Cobra AR1 helicopter. The resulting shoot might just be the most spectacular segment in the show’s history, just not in the way they had hoped. The helicopter crashed. Check it out below.

More: Top Gear drives the ‘world’s smallest car’ – and it’s terrifying

More: Top Gear pits Rocket Man vs. rally car

It is hard to believe, but there were no serious injuries in the crash.

Contrary to what most media outlets have been reporting, the filming actually took place last year and was in New Mexico, not South Korea. Likewise, many outlets are reporting that the crash was a result of pilot error. The pilot of the retired military attack chopper, John “Skip” Lam, is an experienced pilot who was a founding member of the U.S. Army’s Sky Soldiers demonstration team.

Lam has dozens of television and movie credits to his name including the hugely popular Magnum PI show back in the ’80s. According to motorsport photographer David Alden Wilks, who is a mutual friend, Lam said: “The accident was caused by a faulty flight control part known as a servo. This part controls the pitch mechanism of the rotor’s control which is why the helicopter made the turn it did.”

Regardless of the cause, it is a miracle that neither of the pilots was injured, nor were any of the crew on the ground.

Watch the crash from another angle on the ground.

And now check out the on-board view.

One last video shows Skip Lam in action as part of the Sky Soldiers in 2009.

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