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Spanish traffic helicopter that crashed was carrying unauthorised passenger

Spanish traffic helicopter that crashed was carrying unauthorised passenger

The camera operator's wife was also reportedly in the aircraft at the time of the accident, after which the pilot tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine

Europa Press

Monday, 13 March 2023, 17:03

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A third person was involved in the Spanish traffic surveillance helicopter crash last week, despite original reports that only the pilot and the camera operator had been on board. Sources told Europa Press at the end of last week that the third occupant was the camera operator's wife.

The Directorate-General for Traffic had opened an investigation to determine why the Pegasus helicopter had three occupants at the time of the accident when the authorised flight plan was for only two.

The Guardia Civil, handling the investigation, verified that the flight plan, approved a month earlier, was only for two occupants: the pilot and the camera operator.

It later emerged that there was a third person in the helicopter who sources stated is the camera operator's partner.

The helicopter, patrolling the area in search of vehicles violating traffic regulations, crashed on Sunday last week (5 March) near the Madrid town of Robledo de Chavela.

The pilot of the aircraft, 60, was unharmed in the accident while his colleague, who operated the equipment in search of vehicles violating traffic regulations, suffered minor injuries.

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 drugs tests.

He was later located and arrested after testing positive for cocaine and methamphetamine, and charged with endangering air safety.

The DGT has 13 Pegasus helicopters , each valued at six million euros, and 23 qualified pilots for their crew.

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