Image: Youtube screen capture
Final Update on this Sad EventIn february 2010, a small plane crashed in Palo Alto, California. At the time it wasn't quite clear what caused the crash, but we learned that on board were 3 engineers from electric car maker Tesla Motors. Tesla CEO Elon Musk described the event as the most difficult in the company's history.
Last month we reported that the investigation into the crash was still ongoing, and that we should be able to learn more details about what might have caused it soon. That time has come, and according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a human error by the pilot was the cause of the crash.
The twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed into a transmission tower and plummeted in pieces into a residential neighborhood on Feb. 17, 2010 because of the actions of the pilot, Doug Bourn, 56, a senior electrical engineer at Tesla in Palo Alto, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
In a report issued last week, the board listed the probable cause of the crash as the pilot's "failure (to) follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions."
It's not entirely clear if the error was simply an all-too-human mistake, or if something else caused it (health problem?). In any case, it's good to have more information about this sad event. The three victims of the crash were: Doug Bourn of Santa Clara, a senior electrical engineer; Andrew Ingram of Palo Alto, an electrical engineer; and Brian M. Finn of East Palo Alto; a senior manager of interactive electronics.