Tuesday, 7 March 2023, 10:53
The first investigations into the accident involving a Pegasus traffic monitoring helicopter of Spain's Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT), which crashed on Sunday morning near the Madrid town of Robledo de Chavela, pointed to a human error. But the conclusions of investigations carried out later by the Guardia Civil offered another surprise.
The pilot tested positive for drugs and methamphetamines, according to sources from the Ministry of the Interior, for which he was arrested for a crime against air safety. The pilot of the aircraft was unharmed in the accident while his colleague, who operated the equipment in search of vehicles violating traffic regulations, was slightly injured.
The accident happened at around one in the afternoon on Sunday when the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing, for unknown reasons. After hitting the ground, the aircraft overturned. Emergency services were quickly on the scene.
However, after being examined by paramedics and verifying that he had no injuries, it was noted the pilot was visibly «nervous». Without anyone noticing at the time, he disappeared from the scene of the accident to avoid the mandatory drug and alcohol test that is carried out in any such accident.
Guardia Civil officers later found the pilot in Villanueva de la Cañada, a town around thirty kilometers from the scene of the accident and where some relatives live. There they carried out the tests that produced a positive result for cocaine and methamphetamines. He was then transferred to the Puerta del Hierro hospital, for more medical tests.
In parallel to the police investigation, Spain's civil aviation accident and incident investigation commission (CIAIAC), part of the Ministry of Transport, will be in charge of finding out why the Pegasus helicopter crashed last Sunday.
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