Final Report: Pilot fatigue a factor in metro crash

 - January 2, 2008, 9:39 AM

Fairchild SA-227-AC Metro, Grain Valley, Mo., Aug. 17, 2006–The NTSB concluded that the Sierra West Airlines Metro hit a fence short of the runway at East Kansas City Airport because the pilot did not maintain clearance from the fence. Contributing factors were the pilot’s fatigue and the fence. The accident happened at 3:51 p.m. on August 17, and the captain said he and the first officer had gone on duty the previous day at 8:30 p.m. at El Paso and had had no sleep since.

On the first flight on August 16, to Abraham Gonzalez International Airport, Juarez, Mexico, the aircraft was loaded with cargo and hit the wingtip of another airplane just before it departed for ELP. It was repaired with duct tape, and the crew returned to ELP and changed airplanes for subsequent flights to Frankfort, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Safety Board said that the Aeronautical Information Manual states that acute fatigue affects timing and perception.

The Metro was substantially damaged in the hard landing, the captain was uninjured and the first officer suffered minor injuries.