The pilot who flew a single-engine plane into the side of Mount Si last year, killing himself and two passengers, was intoxicated, according to findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
A factual report published last month, written in preparation for the NTSB’s final report on the Feb. 15, 2012, accident, found that pilot Rob Hill, an experienced commercial pilot and flight instructor, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent, nearly four times the amount allowed for a crewmember on a civil aircraft, according to the findings.
Hill, 30, was a flight instructor at AcuWings and took one of the company’s planes from the Renton Municipal Airport without permission, according to the company officials.
Hill, along with friends Seth Dawson, 31, and Liz Redling, 29, took off around 1:30 a.m. after attending a local hockey game and going out to dinner, according to the report. Redling posted photographs of herself and Hill in the plane on a social-network page less than an hour before the crash.
The NTSB determined that Hill, who had nearly 1,000 hours behind the controls, flew into the side of the mountain in the dark. Both wings and the rudder were sheared off the Cessna 172 by trees before it slammed upside down into the steep hillside, board investigators found.
“This just so sad,” said Casey Malone, who was a friend of Redling’s. He said nearly 1,000 people showed up at her funeral.
“This was not an accident. It was a crime,” he said. “Losing a friend like this is difficult.”
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