Former Carson Helicopters VP pleads guilty to charges related to crash that killed 9 firefighters

Carson helicopter

Today in federal court in Medford, Oregon, a second person pleaded guilty to charges related to the crash of a helicopter in 2008 that killed nine wildland firefighters.

Steven Metheny, 44, the former Vice President of Carson Helicopters, pleaded guilty to one count each of filing a false statement and of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud while submitting documents to obtain $20 million in firefighting contracts with the U.S. Forest Service.

Read the rest of the story at Wildfire Today.

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3 thoughts on “Former Carson Helicopters VP pleads guilty to charges related to crash that killed 9 firefighters”

  1. Pity there had to be a fatal accident in order to hold people accountable. Even today, within the wildland aviation community, there continues to be lots of ‘fast n loose” information put forth by the aircraft operators in terms of the performance specifications of their aircraft. The agencies need to better understand and analyze whether observed performance meets contract specs and if necessary, take action in case of failure to clear the proverbial bar.

  2. According to the AAR, besides the problems with Carson, the NTSB found that there was “insufficient oversight by the USFS and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).” http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2010/AAR1006.pdf
    See the “Oversight” section starting on page 99.

    As onerous as it is, the only way to ensure the profit motive doesn’t override safety is to properly inspect all operations and maintenance programs.

    This mishap raises the question … who should oversee the USFS and FAA?

    1. Too much of this sort of thing has gone on over the years. aircraft of any sort should not just fall out of the sky…
      Maybe some good will come out of this..

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