Pilots Faulted in Houston Gulfstream Crash
The NTSB released its final report on the Nov. 22, 2004 crash of a Gulfstream III in Houston that killed three crewmembers. The jet, operated by Business Jet Services, was on its way to pick up former President George H.W. Bush. The jet struck a light pole and crashed about three miles southwest of Hobby Airport while on the ILS approach to Runway 4. The Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the “flight crew’s failure to adequately monitor and cross check the flight instruments during the approach. Contributing to the accident was the flight crew’s failure to select the ILS frequency in a timely manner.” Cockpit voice recorder transcripts indicate that the pilots tuned the VOR frequency instead of the ILS “until about one minute before impact.” The NTSB believes that “the pilots most likely mistook the fast/slow indicator for the glideslope indicator throughout the approach sequence.” The fast/slow indicator on the accident airplane’s EADI is on the left and the glideslope on the right, the opposite of five other Business Jet Services airplanes flown by the accident pilots but similar to three other company airplanes. The CVR transcript indicated no recognition by the pilots of the likely full-scale deviation of the glideslope indicator when the first officer selected the ILS frequency.