Pilot taking selfies led to fatal US air crash

Pilot taking selfies led to fatal US air crash
The wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lies in a field near Watkins, Colorado on May 31, 2014. The pilot of a small plane was taking selfie pictures with a cellphone on a series of short flights around a Colorado airport in 2014 before he crashed on one of the jaunts, killing himself and a passenger, federal investigators found.

LOS ANGELES - A pilot who died when he crashed his small aircraft was distracted because he was taking cell phone selfies in the cockpit, likely contributing to the fatal accident, US investigators said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old and a passenger were killed instantly when his Cessna 150K smashed into a field on May 31 last year.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) probe, using GoPro video taken in the cockpit, indicated that the pilot repeatedly took selfie photos with his phone leading up to the accident.

"The evidence is consistent with an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin into terrain," said an NTSB report.

"Based on the evidence of cell phone use during low-altitude manoeuvring... 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."

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