National Transportation and Safety Board investigators are reporting that taking “selfies” likely contributed to a deadly plane crash with two casualties last year.
The pilot, Amritpal Singh, and his passenger were killed near the Front Range Airport May 31, 2014. The Cessna 150 took off at around 12:30 a.m and was reported missing at 3:45 a.m. by family members. It was discovered around 7 a.m. that morning.
A GoPro camera was retrieved at the crash site and revealed that “Singh and his passenger were taking selfies with their cell phones during the flight.” The report said that the flash from the camera disoriented Singh and caused him to lose control of the plane.
The NTSB report states:
Based on the evidence of cell phone use during low-altitude maneuvering, including the flight immediately before the accident flight, it is likely that cell phone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control.
The report also reveals that the pilot had not met the requirements for flying at night with passengers.
The pilot’s loss of control and subsequent aerodynamic stall due to spatial disorientation in night instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to his cell phone use while maneuvering at low-altitude.