The helicopter crash in episode two isn’t all wrong, but it took place after the initial two weeks of recovery — not, as the episode suggests, in the immediate wake of the explosion. In a statement to Men’s Health, Mazin said it was one of the few events that had to be moved around chronologically. “I wanted people to know that this was one of the hazards that these pilots were dealing with — an open reactor. Radiation was flying over it,” he told the site.
The series shows the helicopter colliding with a crane and cascading to the ground — an event that’s represented even more dramatically in real-life footage. Haverkamp said the air movements surrounding the reactor were unpredictable, but what caused the crash “was indeed hitting the crane.”