NTSB releases likely cause of KOMO News helicopter crash

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This is what remained of the KOMO-TV News helicopter that crashed near the Space Needle in Seattle. (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

SEATTLE — Federal investigators say a 2014 Seattle news helicopter crash that killed two men on board was likely caused by a loss of hydraulic boost to both the tail rotor and main rotor controls.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday released the probable cause findings into the crash that killed pilot Gary Pfitznerand former KOMO-TV news photographer Bill Strothman.

Investigators said the loss of helicopter control was due to a loss of hydraulic boost to the tail rotor pedal controls at takeoff, and a loss of hydraulic boost to the main rotor controls after takeoff. But the panel said the reason for that could not be determined because of fire damage and the lack of a flight recording device.

The helicopter crashed March 18, 2014 as it attempted to take off from the helipad on the roof of KOMO-TV headquarters, hitting two cars before bursting into flames.

Click here to see the full report.

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