A Navy investigation into $505,000 of damages to two helicopters found that the pilots had dipped into Lake Tahoe while taking photos for their Facebook page.
Two unidentified Navy pilots were on the return leg of a cross-country tour on September 13 when they attempted to maneuver their helicopters to hover a few feet above the water, according to the investigation.
Officials said the aircraft didn’t have enough power to maintain the hover and fell into the water.
Eventually when the pilots regained power, they were able to land at a nearby airport.
“The investigation found that the mishap was entirely preventable had the air crew followed required directives for conducting cross-country flights and applied more vigilant operational risk management,” said a Navy press release cited by the Nevada Appeal.
The release said the air crew showed a lack of flight discipline and lack of command oversight in planning and executing cross-country flights .
Both helicopters were damaged, and repairs to electronic antenna and other equipment totaled $505,000.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the two pilot instructors were stripped of flying status and the two student pilots involved in the incident will have to repeat training.
Lieutenant. Aaron Kakeil, media officer for the Naval Air Forces command in San Diego said the reason for the hover came from “a desire from the people in the aircraft to get photos for their command’s Facebook page.”
Ah, the lengths some people will go to in order to update their Facebook photos. A bystander caught the whole thing on video and posted it on YouTube. We’ve embedded a copy of it for you here.