Helicopter Crash
1:35 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

NTSB: Patrol chopper crash caused by lack of fuel

The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that a fatal Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter crash in 2010 happened because the chopper ran out of fuel.

The NTSB released a report Friday on the Oct. 15, 2010, crash in a neighborhood of Clarkson Valley, a St. Louis suburb. Patrol Sgt. Joe Schuengel, the pilot and lone passenger, died.

The report blamed the pilot's "inadequate preflight planning and decision-making." Schuengel's helicopter narrowly missed homes and no one on the ground was hurt.

The report also cited the pilot's improper judgment in flying with what the NTSB called disqualifying medical conditions - history of depression, anxiety and obstructive sleep apnea.

A patrol spokesman says several changes have been made concerning training and fuel requirements since the accident.