The following from Barry Massey’s Associated Press article posted Tuesday on The New Mexican’s Website:
The National Transportation Safety Board says a helicopter pilot’s decision to take off in bad weather is the probable cause of a fatal crash in an attempted rescue of a hiker lost in the mountains near Santa Fe in 2009.
The board said the “organizational culture” of the Department of Public Safety and State Police contributed to the accident because they put a priority on completing missions rather than safety. The board pointed to pilot fatigue, stress of the mission and self-imposed pilot pressure as other contributing factors in the crash.
Here are some links to past coverage of the case, including a very in depth account from last June in the Santa Fe Reporter:
- NTSB: Pilot error probable cause of 2009 NM crash
- SF Reporter: Mission Critical
- Rescuers confirm pilot, passenger dead in helicopter crash