Co-pilot blamed in crash

by nph | March 23rd, 2012

March 23, 2012

Less than two weeks after the Coast Guard dismissed negligent homicide charges against a co-pilot in connection with a 2010 Coast Guard helicopter crash, it has been decided that it was his failure to perform his required duties that directly contributed to the fatal accident, reports the Seattle Times.

According to the Coast Guard’s commander in Alaska, copilot’s actions in the deadly 2010 crash off the Washington coast directly contributed to the deaths of his colleagues and the destruction of the aircraft.

The lone survivor of the crash was the co-pilot on the day the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter that was flying from Astoria, Oregon, to the crew’s base in Sitka, hit an unmarked span of low-hanging wires and crashed off the Washington coast, killing the pilot and two crewmen.

Other than the potential for administrative action, the report does not detail any possible punishment. It says that the co-pilot is to adhere to all applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

The co-pilot’s civilian attorney said that this “is a sad day for the CG [Coast Guard] and Coast Guard aviation,” adding that he believes that  “failure to acknowledge the CG’s failure to properly mark, inspect and maintain the wires, and its failure to act on reports of the unsafe condition exposes the action against [the co-pilot] as mere scapegoating.”

If you are someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private airline, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.