Pilot Error Blamed In Fatal Tesla Motors Plane Crash

EAST PALO ALTO (CBS/AP) — The small plane that crashed into an East Palo Alto neighborhood last year – killing three Tesla Motors employees -was likely caused by pilot error, according to federal investigators.

A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board said pilot Doug Bourn failed to heed warnings by the control tower about heavy fog.

Bourn’s twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed into a 60-foot electric tower and power lines on Feb. 17, 2010, shortly after taking off from Palo Alto Airport. A previous NTSB report found that the plane’s engines were running at near-full power and its propellers were rotating at the time.

Last week’s report said the plane took off in “near-zero visibility.”

Bourn was a senior electrical engineer at Tesla. The other victims were Andrew Ingram, also an electrical engineer, and Brian Finn, a senior manager.


(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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