In the news: the killer pilot selfie, related to a small airplane accident last year. The US NTSB just released a report about finding a GoPro video camera in the wreckage, noting that during a previous flight, the pilot was recorded as taking selfies in the cockpit during critical phases.

The press goes wild, Darwin Award nominations come out, yadda yadda. ... and I can't defend the pilot from the charge of stupidity - the weather conditions precluded a safe flight, regardless of photography.

But I have a beef with the NTSB. While the "full narrative" simply stays factual, the probable cause blurb contains fiction. Namely, it says:

Contributing to the accident was the pilot's distraction due to his cell phone use while maneuvering at low-altitude.

The problem is that there is no evidence shown that the pilot used his cell phone during the accident flight! Sure, he probably distracted himself during the previous flight, and risked his life and all that, but he still landed safely! Then, later, he took off again, climbed into the low clouds at night-time, stalled & spun in -- but the NTSB has no basis to say that then, minutes later, there was any cell phone use or residual distraction.

The probable cause report would have been less sensational and more accurate if it had stated its conclusion conditionally, i.e., "If the pilot used his cell phone during the accident flight, it would have probably distracted him."