A pilot flying low over an area near Watkins, Colorado, was taking selfies and texting in flights before a crash which killed him and his passenger in 2014.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its investigative findings in an official statement last week that the 29-year-old pilot and owner of the plane, Amritpal Singh, lost control of the Cessna 150 K plane, which resulted in the crash, according to Reuters.
“Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to his cellphone use while maneuvering at low altitude.”
Federal investigators found a GoPro camera attached to the windshield of the plane. It was facing the cockpit of the plane and captured the actions of Singh and his passengers on other small flights around Front Range Airport, not far from Denver.
Although the GoPro camera did not capture what actually happened before the fatal crash, investigators determined the pilot had a habit of using his cellphone to text and take selfies in other flights and the one in which he had crashed.
According to the New York Daily News, both Singh and his passenger took their final selfies on their cell phones and had the flash function enabled, which could have added to the distraction and led to the crash, the NTSB claimed.
“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 Cessna 150 lifted off into the air from Watkins’ Front Range Airport in Colorado shortly after midnight on May 31, 2014. The crash site was found the next day, about two miles from where it had taken to the air.
The Adams County coroner’s office later identified the other person in the crash as 31-year-old Jatinder Singh. It is unknown whether the pilot and his passenger were related.
[Images via Reuters and Amrit Singh/Facebook]