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Pilot’s selfies likely caused plane crash, investigators say

A plane crash caused by a selfie? It sounds unlikely, but a report released recently by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests this is exactly what happened in Watkins, Colorado last year.

The accident, which took the life of pilot Amritpal Singh and an unnamed passenger, occurred during a flight in a Cessna 150 on the evening of May 31.

According to the NTSB, footage taken during earlier flights with an on-board GoPro camera showed the pilot and various passengers “taking self-photographs with their cell phones and, during the night flight, using the camera’s flash function during the takeoff roll, initial climb, and flight in the traffic pattern.”

Related: Selfie fails – 10 self-portraits gone awry

The GoPro was not operating during the crash flight, but the NTSB said that based on the evidence at hand, it was likely that the pilot of the single-engine aircraft “experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane.”

The board concluded: “Based on the evidence of cell phone use during low-altitude maneuvering, including the flight immediately before the accident flight, it is likely that cell phone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control.”

Related: Photographer swims into shark infested waters to take a selfie

Sadly, this isn’t the first time the selfie has made the news for all the wrong reasons. In November last year a woman fell to her death after losing her footing while trying to take a photo of herself on the famous Puente de Triana bridge in the Spanish city of Seville, while a few months earlier a Mexican man shot himself in the head while attempting to take a so-called ‘gun selfie.’

[Source: NTSB]