When media mislead – This time it is Fairfax

I noticed this article in this morning’s Stuff.co.nz detailing a light?aircraft crash in the USA where the cause is thought to be the pilot
taking ‘selfies’.

A pilot who lost control while taking selfies was likely the cause of a small plane crash that killed two men this past spring, according to US federal investigators.

Pilot Amritpal Singh, 29, and his passenger were killed instantly when Singh’s Cessna 150K crashed into a wheat field shortly after midnight May 31. The wreckage was discovered around 7am local time that morning.

A GoPro camera mounted to the plane’s windshield recorded Singh and several other passengers taking selfies on their mobile phones during a series of short flights before the crash, the US National Transportation Safety Board found. While the GoPro didn’t record the flight where Singh crashed, investigators portrayed a pattern of the pilot taking selfies and possibly texting while giving rides to passengers above Front Range Airport, about 40 kilometres east of Denver.

“During the climb-out portion of flight, the pilot uses his mobile phone to take a self photograph. The camera’s flash was activated and illuminated the cockpit area,” NTSB investigators reported. “During the climb-out phase, the pilot was seen making keyboard entries to his cell phone and additional keyboard entries on a portion of flight consistent with the downwind leg.”

Singh landed safely after that flight, picked up another passenger, and took off again, crashing a few minutes later.

This is a story in the World section and actually occurred in the United States, and involves a specific aircraft…a Cessna 150K.

Stuff ?however,?for some reason, chose to use a photo of the New Zealand aircraft?ZK-RXL that crashed in Waimate late last year.? ?


I’m sure the owner of ZK-RXL would be mortified to think that Stuff?readers (both of them) now think that he caused the crash because he?was taking selfies.

This is clearly a misleading photo added to a story of no relevance to the photo. They are even different aircraft. They don’t even look the same. The story is about a Cessna 150K.

Cessna 150K

Cessna 150K

The image is of a Rans S-6ESXL Coyote II:

This is irresponsible journalism on the behalf of Fairfax, and they should be contacting the owner of ZK-RXL to apologise.

I bet they don’t though.


– Fairfax