Jury Indicts Two in Helicopter Accident
Two former Carson Helicopter Services executives, Steven Metheny and Levi Phillips, were indicted by a federal grand jury February 1 for “endangering the safety of flight” by falsifying aircraft documents, including weight-and-balance and performance charts on a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter owned and operated by the company. The helicopter crashed in December 2008 while performing firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Nine of 13 people aboard were killed in the crash, while four others received serious injuries. Metheny was a former vice president of Carson, and Phillips was the former director of maintenance and reported directly to Metheny. Both were charged with conspiracy to defraud the USFS involving contracts awarded to Carson in 2008. Metheny was also charged with mail and wire fraud, making false statements to the USFS, endangering the safety of aircraft in flight and theft from an interstate shipment.