Crash Reports Cites Pilot Error, Weather In Chopper Accident

Crash Reports Cites Pilot Error, Weather In Chopper Accident

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Mobile, AL -

This eight page report is short and to the point.  It goes through much of what we already know--that the four men were on training exercises after dark on the evening of February 28th of last year before the crash.

Here's what we didn't know:

It says the Co-Pilot Thomas Cameron and Pilot-In-Command Dale Taylor had their night vision goggles on as bad weather set in and visibility around them kept getting poorer--they believe that combination may have contributed to the crash.  It says Taylor had taken control of the helicopter about a minute before the crash and was piloting the helicopter back to ATC Mobile.  

According to the report, Taylor was trying to get a visual reference on where the chopper was and descended rather than rising above the weather.  The radar altimeter wasn't reset and the helicopter hit the water at about 100 miles per hour.

The report found Taylor hadn't trained with night vision goggles in water rescue ops in more than six months--which also may have contributed to the mishap.  It also found the crew inadvertently entered inclement weather and the Coast Guard, surprisingly, doesn't have established procedures for what to do in that scenario. 


You can read the crash report here.   

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