Feds: '09 Medical Helicopter Crash Caused By Pilot

Published January 20, 2012 10:36PM (EST)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal report has faulted the pilot for a medical helicopter for a crash in South Carolina that killed all three people on board more than two years ago.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Friday that said 45-year-old pilot Patrick Walters knew there were storms. It said he should not have tried to fly to his home base in Conway after dropping off a patient at a Charleston hospital in September 2009.

Authorities say Walters likely got confused by low clouds and stormy conditions during the nighttime flight and lost control of the helicopter. It crashed nose-first and landed upside-down.

Killed along with Walters were 42-year-old flight nurse Diana Conner and 39-year-old paramedic Randolph Claxton Dove.

By Salon Staff

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