Pilot Distracted by Texting Caused Tragic Accident

What Happened

The pilot of a medical helicopter was texting and that distraction may have contributed to a horrific accident that led to the deaths of four people in Mosby, Missouri. The helicopter reportedly ran out of fuel, crashing into a farm field, according to wvnstv.com.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unanimously agreed that this helicopter crash was likely caused by a distracted and tired pilot. The Board determined that the pilot skipped preflight safety checks, which would have revealed that the helicopter was low on fuel. Unfortunately, due to his fatigue and the distraction of this handheld device, he proceeded with the fatal last part of the flight with inadequate fuel.

This terrible accident  was the first fatal commercial aircraft accident investigated by the NTSB in which texting was involved.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a safety alert cautioning all pilots to refrain from using cellphones or other handheld devices that may cause them to be distracted during a critical operation.

Here's a video of a news report discussing this terrible accident:

The Virginia Injury Lawyers’ Perspective

It is so frustrating to read about tragic accidents that could have been prevented if someone simply had the self-control not to use their mobile device to text. The terrible helicopter accident described above is especially abhorrent since the operator of a helicopter, during a critical operation, should reasonably understand that whipping out a mobile device to text would be distracting.

The loved ones of the victims should consider speaking to a wrongful death attorney to discuss their legal options.  

Potentially Helpful Legal Articles and/or In-Depth Legal Guides

Members of our personal injury law firm have been involved in the EndDD campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. Obviously, operating a helicopter is quite different, but the fact remains that using a mobile device to text while operating a large transportation vehicle, whether it be a car or helicopter, is dangerous.

In addition to joining the EndDD campaign, our Virginia injury law firm published an in-depth legal report on some of the most common distractions and important safety tips. Download the PDF report here.



Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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