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Investigation shows fatal plane crash caused by pilot and passenger taking selfies

Posted at 8:34 AM, Feb 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 08:35:29-05

WATKINS, Colo. — The fatal crash of a small plane has been attributed to the pilot and passenger taking selfies during the low-level flight.

“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,” said the report by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

It was also noted that the pilot apparently was not qualified for instrument flight nor for flying at night. The flight was made in “instrument flight rules conditions with 7 miles visibility and overcast clouds,” said the report.

The fatal flight took place in May 2014. The investigation revealed no mechanical problems with the plane before the crash.

The NTSB said a GoPro camera was found near the wreckage, and cell phone activity indicated the people on the plane were taking selfies, which distracted the pilot so that he became disoriented and stalled the plane.