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Pilot of fatal helicopter crash lied about fuel prior to takeoff

Aviation accidents are almost always sad and tragic. It is rare for anyone to survive a plane or helicopter crash; and even if they do, in most cases the survivors suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. It is important for the loved ones of aviation accident victims, or for survivors of such an incident, to consider their legal options in the wake of plane or helicopter crash.

In many cases, the aviation accident stays true to its name -- it is merely an accident. However, there are some cases where air traffic control makes a mistake; where a pilot makes an error; or where a mechanical failure, that either should have been caught or was caused by a faulty or defective part, causes the aircraft to go down.

More often than not, the pilot is at fault -- and a recently completed investigation, into what many consider the first aviation accident that involved a texting pilot, has found this to be true.

The pilot of a medical helicopter that crashed in 2011, killing all four people aboard the aircraft, was texting before he took off. As a result, he did not perform a proper pre-flight inspection of the helicopter. He actually covered up this fact by lying to air traffic controllers about how much fuel was remaining, claiming he had 45 minutes of fuel left when he really only had 30.

Investigators did not blame the whole episode entirely on the pilot's texting; but instead ruled that the texts "contributed" to the aviation accident. Clearly this pilot had some negligent tendencies, as shown by his misrepresentation of the truth to his superiors.

Source: Associated Press, "NTSB: Pilot's texting contributed to copter crash," Joan Lowy, April 9, 2013

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