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The Madera Tribune

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Feds fault pilot for striking trees in 2014 Yosemite crash

June 6, 2017

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Federal investigators are blaming the fatal 2014 crash of a firefighting aircraft in Yosemite National Park on the pilot's failure to avoid trees while flying at a low altitude.

 

The pilot, 62-year-old Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt, was the only one killed when his air tanker struck trees with its left wing as he was trying to avoid a more prominent tree to his right.

 

The National Transportation Safety Board's final report on the crash's probable cause faults the pilot for failing to maintain a safe altitude and proper vigilance to avoid the trees.

 

The final report was made public Tuesday by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. CalFire was operating the aircraft for the National Park Service when the crash occurred on Oct. 7, 2014, near Yosemite's west entrance.

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