NOXEN, Pa. (AP) - Federal investigators say the pilot of a helicopter that crashed in rural northeastern Pennsylvania last month, killing all five people on board, wasn't certified to fly using only on-board instruments.
A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Administration also says there was no indication that the pilot obtained a weather briefing before taking off July 27 from Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott, N.Y., bound for Lehighton shortly before the crash in Wyoming County.
The report says the pilot asked air traffic controllers in Wilkes-Barre to direct him to the nearest airport. The pilot also reported difficulty controlling the aircraft and maintaining altitude.
Officials have said strong storms passed through the region at about the time the helicopter crashed near Noxen.
The dead included a 3-year-old child and his father.