Mechanic Checklists a Lesson in Copter Crash

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Federal crash investigators say mechanics and inspectors should use work checklists to avoid maintenance errors like one they say caused a fatal sightseeing helicopter crash outside Las Vegas in December 2011.

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the Sundance Helicopters crash was caused by a crucial locking nut working loose in the rotor mechanism.

That caused a loss of control before the crash near Lake Mead killed the pilot and four tourists.

Officials think a fatigued mechanic improperly installed the nut during maintenance before the crash.

They note the mechanic had been called in early to do the work.

SLIDESHOW: NTSB Photos of Helicopter Crash Site

But the helicopter also passed inspections prior to the crash.

Killed were two honeymooners from India, a couple from Utica, Kan., and the 31-year-old pilot.

(DISCLOSURE: Sundance Helicopters provides Channel 8's Chopper 8 service.)

 


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