NTSB Faults Tesla Pilot for EPA Crash

No one on the ground was injured.

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011  |  Updated 12:01 PM PDT
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NTSB Faults Tesla Pilot for EPA Crash

Three die in peninsula crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has found that a plane crash in East Palo Alto that killed three Tesla Motors employees on a foggy  morning in February 2010 was the fault of the pilot.

A final report on the crash released by the NTSB last week concludes that the pilot failed to follow instructions during departure and  failed to attain "a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power  lines during takeoff ..."

The report states that the twin-engine Cessna 310 struck power lines and a PG&E tower about 50 feet above ground at 7:54 a.m. on Feb. 17  shortly after departing from the Palo Alto Airport. The aircraft had been  headed to Hawthorne, Calif.

All three men on the plane, pilot Douglas Bourn, 56, of Santa Clara; Brian Finn, 42, of East Palo Alto; and Andrew Ingram, 31, of Palo  Alto, died in the crash.

Further findings from the NTSB report indicate that the pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility and had not been cleared for  takeoff by the air traffic controller, who was unable to see the runway.

The report states that the pilot was told that if he took off, it would be at his own risk.

All of the plane's major structural components were recovered and showed no evidence of mechanical failure or other problems, according to the  report.
 

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