Downdraft Blamed For Chopper Crash On Pikes Peak
NTSB Says Downdraft Forced Helicopter Into Mountain
Last Updated: 952 days ago
Federal investigators say a sudden downdraft caused a helicopter to crash while filming a car on a test run on Pikes Peak in September.The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports the National Transportation Safety Board said a downdraft forced the helicopter into the mountain and the pilot couldn't "power out" of the wind because of the high altitude.The pilot landed the helicopter near the Pikes Peak Highway where it rolled onto its left side. The pilot, Jim Dirker, had minor injuries and the three passengers were unharmed.The helicopter was carrying a German crew filming a driverless Audi TTS on the challenging road to the mountain's 14,110-foot summit. Audi has said the test drive was part of a project with Stanford University, which helped create the technology for the driverless vehicle.The crash occurred one mile south of the summit, yards away from the Cog Railway track, around 7:30 a.m.Dirker said the crash was the first of his 35-year career. He said he survived because he "lucked out."