NTSB Attributes Fatal Missouri Helicopter Accident To Pilot’s Text Messaging

by | April 12th, 2013

April 12, 2012

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced earlier this week that a recent Helicopter Accident was the result of a pilot’s distraction from text messaging on a cellphone.

An article from The Boston Herald explained the crash happened on August 26, 2011, in a field outside the town of Mosby Missouri. An examination of the wreckage determined the helicopter had gone down roughly a mile from an airport after running out of fuel. The crash claimed the life of the pilot, a patient, and two other members of the helicopter’s crew.

Further investigation into the accident by NTSB inspectors determined the pilot had overlooked performing a pre-flight safety checklist that would have shown the aircraft was low on fuel.

Phone records later showed the pilot had sent a total of 25 text messages and received another 60 during the 12-hour shift in which the accident occurred. Twenty of those messages were exchanged less than two hours before the accident occurred. Officials believe the accident could have been prevented if the pilot had not been preoccupied by the texts.

The investigation’s conclusions made the crash the first aviation accident in United States history to be attributed to distraction from an electronic device.

Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and their team of Aviation Accident Attorneys ask that all pilots refrain from talking or texting on cellphones while flying or preparing for flight. Doing so could save a life.