A detailed report from the French air traffic safety board (BEA) has revealed that the pilot of the helicopter that crashed above Monaco on November 24 last year had not only taken cocaine hours before the flight that killed himself and well-known and popular Monaco resident 53 year-old Vyacheslav Taran, but had also recently consumed CBD, THC and alcohol.
In its report the BEA said that the pilot had undertaken the flight from Lausanne to Monaco while under the influence of cocaine and that he bore traces of recent consumption of CBD, THC and alcohol.
“His flying ability was altered by the sudden change from the bright environment with the appearance of sea mist, as well as from the harmful effects of drugs. In this context, once entering the cloud layer, with his judgment impaired by drugs, it was difficult for him to maintain the flight parameters and to undertake, at a low height and near rocky outcrops, any recovery maneuvre such as climbing to a safe altitude.”
The report added that: “Analysis of the pilot’s hair revealed the presence of cannabidiol and benzyoylecgonine (a component of cocaine) in three analysed segments of the hair, approximately one and three centimetres in length each, at the root, midsection and tip.”
The BEA recommended more frequent urine tests of pilots to reveal “hidden users” of drugs.
The CEO of Monacair, Rémi Bouysset, said he was shocked and angered by the evidence of drug-taking. Being a pilot was a life-choice, he added.
FILE PHOTO: A Monacair helicopter lands at Monaco’s heliport