BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two and a half years since a helicopter crash in Pennsylvania killed Buffalo businessman Mark Croce and his passenger, Michael Capriotto, a final report on what happened was released.
The National Transportation Safety Board released the report on Wednesday. It is almost 175 pages long, and it investigated everything from the helicopter, Croce's background in flying, the weather conditions, and his health.
In the end, the report concludes that at a point in the ill-fated flight, the helicopter began to pitch and roll until the point where it inverted, and that's when the main rotor blade hit the tail boom, which caused the copter to break up in mid-air and crash.
The report indicates it could have been caused by turbulence in the area, and that the helicopter was flying much faster recommended under such conditions.
It surmises that this happened with the aircraft on auto pilot, but wouldn't have precluded Croce from overriding the autopilot and flying the copter manually.
There was nothing to give investigators any information about any actions Croce took, or did not take, to try and save the helicopter from crashing, because despite it being almost brand new, it did not have crash-resistant, on-board cameras that would have let them draw any solid conclusions.
It also says investigators were unable to determine if a medical emergency preceded the crash.
Toxicology test revealed traces of a substance associated with a prescription medicine that would normally get pilot's license to fly yanked, but that his medical records did not contain any proof that Croce had a prescription for that medicine.
You can look at the entire report at this link.