College Guidelines Recommend Against Charter

 - January 25, 2007, 9:02 AM

In response to a four-year old NTSB safety recommendation stemming from the Jan. 27, 2001 crash of a chartered King Air 200 that killed several members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team, college associations developed a 64-page travel guidance manual recommending that students “travel only on scheduled commercial service.” The guide, distributed to 7,200 colleges and universities, notes that airlines are the “safest form of air travel” and that chartering “raises issues” about pilot qualification and airworthiness of the aircraft. The guide provides suggestions about how to vet a charter operator but recommends students not use “donated flights,” require charter flights be conducted under IFR and prohibit flying into “forecasted hazardous weather” (undefined in the guide). In a rarely given classification, the NTSB applauded the guidance material by saying it “exceeded the recommended action.”