Unsafe maneuver3/11/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was a reckless maneuver by WTVJ(TV) Miami news chopper pilot Ruben Rivero that caused the crash that killed him and cameraman Rob Pierce a year ago. A report from the NTSB attributed the accident to the "pilot's ostentatious display and in-flight decision to perform an abrupt low altitude pitch-up maneuver (aerobatic flight). This resulted in the main rotor blades colliding with and separating the tail boom assembly while maneuvering and the helicopter's subsequent in-flight collision with terrain." Rivero had a good reputation among pilots and journalists, but early local reports also said witnesses thought the chopper was involved in some sort of aerial horseplay.