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Human factors found to be direct contributing factor in fatal Idaho National Guard crash

Officials say it is determined that there were no mechanical factors that contributed to the accident
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 2:52 PM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho National Guard released new details into the investigation into what caused a helicopter crash that killed three Idaho guardsmen in February.

The safety investigation board found that although weather played a significant role, the primary cause of the accident was the crew’s inability to successfully complete an emergency procedure before impacting the ground.

Officials say it is determined that there were no mechanical factors that contributed to the accident. The aircraft performed normally and there were no indications that the crew experienced any mechanical issues at any time during the flight.

Officials said the crew was forced to fly in the clouds losing visual reference and only had aircraft flight instruments.

“As helicopter pilots, one of the most difficult and dangerous emergency procedures that we can be exposed to is I-M-C. This emergency requires crews to transition from relying primarily on their vision references outside the aircraft to relying solely on instruments inside the aircraft”

As a result, the aircraft impacted the mountainside, destroying the aircraft and fatally injuring all crew members.

The guardsmen once again gave their condolences to the families of Jesse Anderson, George Laubhan, and Matthew Peltzer.

The Idaho aviation group had been grounded since Feb. 3. but started flying again last week with a limited flight scheduled.

The group has since resumed search and rescue responsibilities within the state. the investigation is not complete until the final report is published.

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Posted by Idaho National Guard on Friday, March 5, 2021

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