Examining a tragedy in Alaska as a charter pilot seems to succumb to pressure to make a flight despite low weather.
On June 25, 2015, about 24 miles east-northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska, eight passengers and the pilot of a float-equipped single-engine turboprop de Havilland DHC-3 Otter were killed in yet another controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accident. The pilot was under pressure from a closing time window in which to get the passengers back to Ketchikan more »
Cynics about the state of aviation will have a field day with this one
The NTSB recently released an accident report that contains ammunition for those folks who have axes to grind about the way things are being done in aviation today. For example, those who believe that pilots can’t be trusted to self-certify that they’re medically safe to fly are certain to take comfort in what the NTSB more »
In the aftermath of a crash of a Cessna 421B Golden Eagle, statements made by witnesses to the NTSB actually reveal more than the official probable cause
The NTSB’s narrative report on the Cessna 421B Golden Eagle crash in Hammond, Louisiana, on October 14, 2015, in which the pilot and passenger were killed, repeats a deficiency we occasionally see in other reports from the agency. It lays out facts and provides a carefully worded probable cause for the accident, while failing to more »
A routine night flight turns harrowing when both engines inexplicably go silent.
I have a hunch that when I finish telling you about what happened to a Piper PA-34-220T Seneca II, you’ll take a close look at your airplane’s emergency checklist, if you can find it. You know, it’s that thing you may have misplaced, or maybe never even bothered to photocopy from the airplane’s documents, or maybe more »
The NTSB puts the focus on midairs, but does it have the solution to the problem?
When it comes to keeping airplanes from bumping into each other, it still looks as if one of the best things we have going for us is the “big sky” concept. Put simply, there’s such a vast amount of airspace, and aircraft so often fly random routes, that the odds that our aircraft will not more »
Experience, planning and discipline were all sorely lacking in this accident that didn’t need to happen
I’m going to tell you about one of those accidents in which what happened is obvious, but why it happened isn’t, despite what the NTSB says. While two planes were flying close together, one underwent an unexpected maneuver and hit the other. The pilot of the plane that was hit managed to keep it flying and more »
NTSB names flight crew, charter company and FAA inspector as falling short of their safety obligations.
When NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart addressed other board members and staff at a meeting last October, he offered scathing indictments of those who contributed to the crash of a Hawker jet at Akron, Ohio. The accident took place on November 10, 2015, while the British Aerospace HS 125-700A was on a localizer approach to more »
The NTSB found serious deficiencies in the training of controllers
When the NTSB finished its investigation of the September 7, 2015, Beech A36 Bonanza crash near Kernersville, North Carolina, in which the pilot and both passengers were killed, it was just six days after the agency had released an alarming Safety Recommendation Report. The subject of the report was “Emergency Training for Air Traffic Controllers.” more »
What happened to the EMB-500 Phenom 100 is clear, but why the pilot allowed it to happen is not.
By all accounts, the pilot of the EMB-500 Phenom 100 jet that crashed on December 8, 2014, while on approach to Montgomery County Airpark (KGAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland, was a brilliant man. The 66-year-old medical doctor was the chief executive officer of a pharmaceutical and medical device research company he founded. He also was the winner more »
The pilot of a JetPROP-converted Piper Malibu tried to thread his way through severe weather without airborne radar
It happened on June 18, 2014: With thunderstorms popping, the pilot of a turbine-powered Piper Malibu PA46-310P JetPROP conversion seemed to be doing a good job of weather avoidance, but then made a turn and flew into a monstrous cell. The airplane crashed at Lehman, Texas, killing the pilot and both passengers. It took two more »
This midair collision involved more than failure to see and avoid
No one is surprised when the NTSB declares that the probable cause of a midair collision is the failure of one or both of the pilots to see and avoid the other aircraft. The statement is used so often that it has become an aviation safety cliché. In its recent report on the collision of more »
A Beech Premier jet crashed with a passenger at the controls who did the unthinkable
I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it, too: allowed an unqualified individual to manipulate the airplane’s controls. Usually, it’s a child or first-time-flying adult. I strictly limited them to a few gentle turns or push-pulls of the control yoke. But, I’ve heard tales of passengers handling the throttle, setting transponder codes, operating the flaps, even more »
Why mystery still surrounds the crash of a B200 King Air into a Training Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport
If you just go by what the NTSB’s probable cause says, you’ll likely be at least partially misled about what happened in the crash of a Raytheon B200 King Air into a building in the FlightSafety International complex at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (KICT), Wichita, Kansas. The accident occurred on October 30, 2014, and the NTSB more »
A Cessna 340 crashed while executing a missed approach in bad weather. There might have been more to the crash than the NTSB discovered.
The NTSB recently issued its report on a “loss of control” accident from October 10, 2013, in which a Cessna 340A, a cabin-class, pressurized piston twin, crashed while maneuvering during a missed approach on a low-weather day at Hampton Roads Executive Airport (KPVG) in Norfolk, Virginia. The fatal mishap involved a complex combination of factors. more »
The actor acted with professionalism when the engine quit
Suppose you or I had taken off on a solo flight, and within minutes, had to execute an emergency landing that resulted in serious injuries and a banged-up airplane. There was no harm to anyone on the ground, and no buildings or vehicles were hit. When the NTSB finished its investigation, the narrative probably would more »
Severe weather, poor maintenance and faulty flight instruments lead to earthly disaster
The NTSB recently finished its investigation of the October 28, 2013, accident involving a Cessna Citation 500 in which a nationally-known minister and the pilot were killed. Pastor Edward Dufresne, who was 72 years old, led the World Harvest Church in Murrieta, California, and used the twin-engine jet in his travels around the country for more »
Being doubly sure before trying to take off can save your life
I shook my head in disbelief while reading the NTSB’s report on the May 31, 2014, nighttime accident involving a Gulfstream G-IV at Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, Mass., which was released a couple of months ago.