Texting while being in control of a vehicle is a very, very stupid thing to do. You would think the pilot of an emergency medical helicopter would be aware of this fact. According to the government, you’d be wrong.
Yes, apparently a pilot in Missouri decided he was perfectly capable of flying a patient to the hospital while texting, but, unfortunately, not so much:
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which meets today to assign a cause for the accident that killed four people including a patient, documented seven texts sent and received by the pilot, according to agency records. …Use of electronic devices by pilots during flight was prohibited by company rules, according to the reports.
This marks the first time texting is believed to have caused a fatal air crash by the National Transportation Safety Board. Just to make this whole thing even more ridiculous and/or awful, the helicopter in question crashed because it ran out of fuel.
Yes, thanks to the modern world, a highly trained aircraft pilot can kill himself and three other people because he’s too distracted by sending texts to notice he’s running low on gas.
If you’re flying today, we have no idea how many pilots text in the cockpit. We do, however, know that nearly half of all British professional pilots admitted in a poll that they fall asleep in the cockpit, so we’re guessing that it’s probably more than that.