BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Two Baton Rouge Police officers died Sunday while assisting in a police chase. Their helicopter crashed in the Port Allen area. The accident is under investigation, and experts say the aircraft model has a bad track record of fatal crashes.

“We see more accidents with Robinson helicopters on a per-hour basis than we do some of the other helicopters,” said Texas attorney Ladd Sanger. He has represented families from across the world after similar accidents killed their loved ones.

According to FAA records, the helicopter involved in the deadly crash was a Robinson R-44. NTSB data showed that there have been 605 Robinson helicopter accidents in the U.S. over the past 10 years, and 177 were fatal.

“It doesn’t have a lot of redundant — very many at all — redundant safety features. It’s designed to be as lightweight as possible meaning all of the structure is thin metal. It uses a piston engine which is less reliable,” said Sanger.

The FAA released a statement saying the helicopter involved in the deaths of Sgt. David Poirrier, 47, and Cpl. Scotty Canezaro, 38, hit a tree. But minute-by-minute data sent from the chopper leading up to the crash showed a last-known location 1,200 feet in the air.

“You’re not going to hit a tree at 1,000,” Sanger said. “So we either don’t have the rest of the data of the rest of the flight or something else happened.”

Sanger said the Robinson helicopters are cheaper, making them more appealing to agencies on a budget.

“The helicopter was designed to be a very low-cost helicopter,” Sanger said. “All of this results in a smaller safety margin for the Robinson helicopter than other helicopters.”

We have reached out to BRPD asking why the department chose to buy the Robinson R-44, but they have yet to respond.

“I don’t know that this is the best helicopter for police work,” said Sanger.

We have reached out to Robinson helicopter and are waiting on a comment.