Luck and improvisation contributed to keeping 170 people alive.
Sign up for our newsletter, featuring the latest news for aviation enthusiasts and pilots! If there’s a frequently recurring theme when the NTSB writes the probable causes for aviation accidents, it’s that the pilot was responsible for the outcome: he or she failed to maintain airplane control or didn’t engage in proper decision-making or, perhaps, more »
Sign up for our newsletter, featuring the latest news for aviation enthusiasts and pilots! A recurring theme from the NTSB and others over the years has been that pilots should never hesitate to declare an emergency, seek all available help and take positive corrective action. The Safety Board, in a departure from its habit of more »
The crash of a 206 shows the importance of knowing your engine...and your emergency checklists
If you fly behind one or two turbocharged engines, you’ll be especially interested in what happened to a Cessna T206H that was taking off from Essex County Airport (KCDW) in Caldwell, New Jersey, on August 15, 2015. And, yes, there’s value here for those who count on having normal performance from normally aspirated engines, too. more »
The investigation of a prop strike and subsequent crash results in more questions than answers
How did a landing that seemed it would be so right wind up in a go-around that went so wrong? Look at the NTSB’s report on the July 29, 2015, accident involving a Socata TBM 700 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in which both occupants were killed, and you’ll see the agency’s take on it. But don’t more »
Questions linger in the crash of a Cessna Chancellor
What happened that led an Airline Transport Pilot with an estimated 12,100 hours of flying time to allow an instrument approach to go so frightfully wrong that it cost his life and the lives of his six passengers? The NTSB doesn’t pin it on any one thing. Rather, as is so often the case, the more »
Controllers and fellow aviators try to help a pilot fighting for his life
We can only wonder what must have been going on in the mind of the pilot of a Beech A36TC Bonanza as it became increasingly difficult for him to handle the control yoke so the airplane was level enough to avoid stalling or diving. It was a battle he’d eventually lose, with the plane crashing more »
Previous medical conditions suggest possible explanations but solid proof is hard to come by
The reports prepared by the NTSB on light sport and experimental category accidents usually don’t consume a significant amount of the agency’s resources. The airplanes are too light and carry too little fuel to cause mass destruction and, when there are fatalities, the number of deceased almost invariably is limited to one or two. It’s more »
The report on a fatal weather-related crash raises questions it doesn’t answer
The NTSB’s report on the breakup and crash of a Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II near Bakersfield, California, which wiped out a family of five, does a splendid job of documenting the accident sequence and evidence discovered in the wreckage. However, in my opinion, it falls short of its potential as an aviation safety tool. more »
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 »