Drunk Pilot Lets Drunk Passenger Steer, Everyone Dies

Drunk people are good at lots of things. They are good at ordering drinks. They are good at cajoling other drunk people into dares. They are good at chasing adventure. They are good at combining all three of these talents to work in frenetic, exciting concert. They are less good at piloting helicopters.

This past December, a Russian businessman's private helicopter crashed into a forest an hour northwest of Moscow, killing him and two passengers. At the time, Russian papers described the chopper's owner, 35-year-old Fedor Tsarev, as "notorious"; shortly before his death, he was charged in connection with all sorts of things the cartoonish villain of an animated kids movie would be charged with: deforestation, illegal mining, corruption, making million-dollar toothpicks out of Truffula Trees, setting FernGully on fire, etc. Once, when police tried to arrest him at his mansion, he fled the scene by helicopter. Neighbors reportedly complained to the Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper that he would sometimes land his aircraft in public parks and soccer fields where children played.

Six months later, Zee News reports that an inquest into the December crash has identified the probable cause of the accident: drunk, bad piloting. But not by Tsarev.

Testing revealed Tsarev's blood alcohol level at the time of the crash to be .09. However, officials don't believe he was the one operating the helicopter as he was found sitting in the front left seat, rather than the pilot's chair on the right. Perhaps because friends don't let friends drive (a plane) drunk, Tsarev apparently handed the controls over to one of his passengers. Unfortunately, the passengers were even drunker than he was, with BACs of .16 and .22.

Of course, even if Tsarev hadn't been intoxicated, he wouldn't have been qualified to fly the helicopter on the night of December 8; the medical documents he used to obtain his license were forged.

[Zee News via NYDN // MKRU // Gazeta.ru // Image via Shutterstock]

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