Could texting distraction have led to a series of disastrous mistakes?
The pilot held a commercial certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument-helicopter ratings. His second-class medical certificate had no limitations. He joined Air Methods in September 2010 after serving in the Army as AH-64 Apache helicopter PIC, but had no previous civil commercial flight experience.
His total rotorcraft flight time was about 2,207 hr. He flew 18 hr. within the 30 days before the accident and 74 hr. within the previous 90 days. The pilot had accumulated a total of 104 flight hours in theAS350 B2 and 32 flight hours in the Eurocopter AS350 B3 between Oct. 10, 2010, and Aug. 26, 2011.
The pilot started his basic indoctrination training with Air Methods on Sept. 13, 2010. After receiving 4.2 hr. of flight training, on Oct. 6, 2010, he satisfactorily completed an initial flight evaluation. The check included power failures, autorotations to a power recovery (but without a reduction in power) and hovering autorotations (oral only).