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Pilot In Fatal CA Helicopter Accident Had Been Disciplined Twice By The FAA

Both Suspensions Had Come Since 2003

FAA records indicate that the pilot of a helicopter that went down filming a TV reality show in California earlier this month had twice had his flying privileges suspended since 2003. The pilot and two other persons on board the aircraft were fatally injured.

Pilot David Gibbs of Valencia, CA, had been grounded for 30 days by the agency in December, 2003, after the NTSB found he had flown a helicopter into a power line while filming an episode of the television show "Ripley's Believe It or Not" in November of 2002. The FAA said the 59-year-old Gibbs had operated the helo in a "careless an reckless manner."

United Press International reports that Gibbs was suspended again in 2007 for an incident which occurred while filming an installment of "The Amazing Race" for not staying in radio communication. That grounding lasted 45 days.

There was another incident involving Gibbs. He was piloting a helicopter that rolled over onto its side while landing in 2004, but the NTSB said the probable cause of that incident was a power loss and not pilot error.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ntsb.gov

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