DP Review: NYC photo tour helicopter crashes in the East River, claiming five lives.

I've flown as a photographer in helicopters with no doors. (Kauai. Hughes 500. Functional and aesthetic duplicate to TC's chopper from Magnum, PI.) Back then, all I got was a lap belt. I didn't give it a thought after initial takeoff (looking at the ground sideways encourages one to check all connections to the aircraft!). Though I kept my feet wound around the seat stanchions.

Today it seems you get a whole harness in case there's a buckle failure. That's great, but without a quick-release system for emergencies like this, it's bollocks.

Young photogs feel empowered to mount their GoPros to any knob or dial in a cockpit. There need to be failsafes. They'll probably never be able to prove it, but I expect the passengers flipped that fuel cutoff in their attempts to get a good in-cockpit 'selfie' video.