Regardless of your political persuasion, the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) in an October aircraft accident was a tragedy on many levels. Foremost was Wellstone’s death and that of his wife Sheila, both 58, their daughter Marcia Markuson, 33, three campaign staffers (Mary McEvoy, Tom Lapic and Will McLaughlin) and the two pilots, Richard Conry, 55, and Michael Guess, 30.
The NTSB is investigating the October 25 crash of a chartered King Air A100 (N41BE) that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), his wife and a daughter, along with three staff members and the two pilots. The twin turboprop, reportedly chartered from Executive Aviation/Aviation Charter Inc.
The total number of U.S.-registered turbine airplanes involved in serious accidents last year decreased significantly from 2001, a year that saw business aviation accidents increase over 2000. Last year there were 41 nonfatal accidents, 19 fatal accidents and 47 fatalities compared with 44 nonfatal accidents and 24 fatal accidents that killed 80 passengers and crew in 2001, according to safety analyst Robert E.
The NTSB is eyeing fatigue as a contributing factor in the October 25 accident that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), members of his family and staff and both pilots. The King Air A100 crashed two miles from the airport during an approach to the Eveleth-Virginia (Minn.) Airport (EVM). Wellstone had chartered the aircraft from St. Paul-based Aviation Charter.
Family members of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and five other passengers who were killed in the October 25 crash of a King Air A100 reached a $25 million agreement with the charter company that operated the twin turboprop, averting a likely lawsuit against Aviation Charter of Eden Prairie, Minn. The King Air crashed during an approach in poor visibility (AIN, January, page 10).
The NTSB believes currently required stall-warning systems are not adequate to cover all critically low-airspeed conditions and has recommended that the FAA require the installation of so-called “low-airspeed alert” systems on all airplanes used in FAR Parts 121 and 135 commercial operations.
Mark Rosenker was sworn in as the 11th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 11 after serving as acting chairman since March 2005. A major general in the Air Force Reserve, he was deputy assistant to the President and director of the White House Military Office before becoming a member of the NTSB in March 2003.
A lawsuit accusing safety audit specialist Aviation Research Group/ U.S. (ARG/US) of defamation was settled last month when a U.S. District Court judge granted a motion by ARG/US for a summary judgment of dismissal.