NTSB releases final cause of fatal Pedi-Flite crash

NTSB releases final cause of fatal Pedi-Flite crash
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

FAYETTE COUNTY, TN (WMC) - National Transportation Safety Board released the probable cause of the Pedi-Flite crash outside Somerville, TN that killed three first responders.

After a review of the helicopter's ground track, two obstacles were found in the immediate area, an 140-foot, unlit, non-functioning, cell tower and a 115-foot water tower.

According to the report, the helicopter's in-flight obstacle alert most likely warned the pilot to the obstacles. It goes on to say the pilot most likely initiated a climb, then lost control of the helicopter.

The NTSB released the following as the probable cause of the crash:

"The pilot's inadvertent encounter with night, instrument meteorological conditions while responding to an obstacle alert, resulting in an in-flight loss of helicopter control."

This accident happened on Oct. 22, 2013, in Fayette County; pediatric respiratory therapist Denise Adams, pediatric nurse Carrie Barlow, and pilot Charles Smith all died in the crash.

The three first responders were honored with the Three Stars Award from Tennessee public safety leaders on Jan. 22, 2015. It's the state's highest honor given to first responders killed in the line of duty. 

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