7 Mar, 2023 @ 15:45
1 min read

Pilot who crashed one of Spain’s traffic helicopters tests positive for cocaine and amphetamine 

Helicopter crash
AUGC Tráfico / Twitter

A PILOT for one of Spain’s traffic helicopters, which are used to detect infractions on the road, has been arrested after crashing his aircraft on Sunday and subsequently testing positive for cocaine and methamphetamine. 

The Pegasus helicopter from the DGT traffic authority suffered the accident in Robledo de Chavela in the Madrid region as the pilot tried to make an emergency landing. 

While the pilot was unhurt, the camera operator onboard suffered mild injuries due to the accident. 

The 60-year-old suspect, a former firefighter named as Luis Vidal by radio network Cadena SER, fled the scene of the accident before the Civil Guard could arrive and test him for alcohol and narcotics. 

He travelled to a nearby municipality on the outskirts of Madrid, Villanueva de la Cañada, where he tried to hide in the residence of a relative. 

According to El Periodico de España, which broke the story, he was later located by a Civil Guard patrol who tested him for alcohol and drugs. They found evidence of cocaine and methamphetamine in his system. 

After his arrest on Monday, he was today released on conditional bail. Vidal will now face possible charges for air safety offences, according to news agency EFE.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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