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Pilot blamed for fatal Dubai gyrocopter crash in 2015

He lost control of the aircraft after being ‘distracted’ when helmet fell off, says report

Gulf News

Dubai: The pilot of a gyrocopter that crashed into Palm Jumeirah during the World Air Games was distracted from a helmet that fell off his head during a high-speed turn, a new report has revealed.

The report released by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday said the cause of the accident in 2015 was due to the pilot losing control of the aircraft because of a helmet that he failed to strap properly before take-off.

“The Air Accident Investigation Sector determines that the most probable cause of the accident was due to the pilot losing control of the aircraft as he attempted a high-speed, unbalanced left-hand turn and becoming distracted, at the same time, due to the loss of his helmet,” said the report.

The 49-year-old Dutch pilot, identified as Arend van Randen, was submerged in the water for 10 minutes before being rescued in an unconscious condition by search and rescue divers, the report said.

The pilot did not regain consciousness and succumbed to his injuries ten days after the accident.

The investigation also revealed that the pilot was most likely not sufficiently experienced to fly the gyrocopter in an air race as he had just over 20 hours of pilot-in-command time for the gyrocopter.

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