Texting Caused Fatal Helicopter Crash

Texting Caused Fatal Helicopter Crash

Posted in the Pittsford Forum


Rochester, NY

#1 Apr 10, 2013
For the first time, NTSB has linked texting to a fatal aircraft crash. In August 2011, James Freudenberg was flying a LifeNet medical helo carrying a patient and two flight nurses when he ran out of gas, killing all on board. Investigators from the NTSB say that the pilot exchanged over 240 texts with another person, including many sent as he was prepping the helo for departure - and several as he was flying to and from the scene.

Conclusion: Pilot was distracted, and overlooked checking the fuel level prior to taking off. Cause was texting.
Ha Ha

Fairport, NY

#2 Apr 10, 2013
Yeah, but pilot skill has a lot to do with your ability to survive the crash.

In a helicopter, when the engine(s) quit, you autorotate. A very survivable technique.

Sure the pilot was distracted (NOT WHILE FLYING) while refuelig, but when the aircraft ran out of fuel ... he sould have still been able to land safely!

“Lovin' you is fuuu-uuun...”

Since: Apr 09

drop the puck, Ref...

#3 Apr 10, 2013

To the amazement of safety officials, Freudenberg evidently sent several text messages with one hand while flying the helicopter with the other.

But those text messages in the air -- which ended 19 minutes before the crash -- turned out to be less consequential than text messages he sent and received while on the ground.

Investigators believe Freudenberg engaged in an extensive text conversation with a colleague about dinner plans while he was conducting mandatory pre-flight checks of his helicopter.

Because of those distractions, Freudenberg missed two opportunities to detect that his helicopter did not have sufficient fuel for his mission, investigators said.

The NTSB said other factors leading to the crash included the pilot's inability to perform a crucial flight maneuver known as autorotation after he ran out of fuel.

In the helicopter he was flying, the pilot must transition to autorotation in two seconds to avoid a crash. The investigation found that the autorotation training the pilot received was not representative of an actual engine failure at cruise speed, which likely contributed to his failure to successfully execute the maneuver.

And the pilot likely was fatigued, having failed to take advantage of his adequate off-duty hours to get sleep, the NTSB said.

NTSB assessment might read then:
cocky, wasn't he?
Ha Ha

Fairport, NY

#4 Apr 10, 2013
Pilot's often have big egos ... rivaled only by doctors.
Go Believe

Hilton, NY

#5 Apr 10, 2013
In Insurance, State, Federal, and Mythbusters studies texting and driving was found more dangerous than being "legally drunk" Just google texting and driving harder than drunk. Why is it then we put people in jail for drinking and driving and just a ticket for texting? If you guessed because MADD mothers has the 4th largest Washington lobby in the country because they earn Billions off of donations and the 250$ impact panel fee per person you guessed right!
Country Boy

Batavia, NY

#6 Apr 10, 2013
His over sized ego reminds me of a article I read a while ago about a business man who was pull over by the cops. He was texting with one hand and talking on another cell phone with the other. You ask how he was steering the car....with his knees. Apparently the Judge did not agree with him that he could multi task and suspended his license for a year.

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