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September 14, 2010

Hudson River mid-air collision caused by pilot errors and distracted controller according to NTSB

After a thorough investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that the August 8, 2009 mid-air collision between a tour helicopter and small plane over the Hudson River was likely caused by the errors of two pilots and a distracted air traffic controller. Both pilots allegedly failed to use onboard equipment to maintain awareness of other aircraft, and the NTSB said that the air traffic controller at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport failed to provide a timely transfer of information because he was engaged in personal conversations while on duty. The NTSB also reported that the FFA had inadequate rules in place regarding the vertical distance required between aircraft and the procedures for flying within the small airspace.

Motley Rice attorney Mary Schiavo, who represents the families of the five Italian tourists, said that her clients were pleased with the NTSB's report and expressed hope that advisory technology will be improved in the future, stating," Without the technology...general aviation aircraft will be flying blind."

The collision killed all five Italian tourists on the helicopter, their helicopter pilot and the family of three in the plane.

Read more about the Hudson River crash investigation in a full article featured in Los Angeles Times.

Learn more about the Hudson River mid-air collision.

Learn about the Motley Rice aviation team, including Motley Rice aviation attorney Don Migliori and former Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo, who represent the families of the Italian tourists.