Less than 10 percent of an aircraft accident investigation takes place at the scene. After an initial seven to 20 days on-site, the process moves to file cabinets and back offices; parts, maintenance and service suppliers; and government and industry laboratories. On average, six months of post-accident meetings are coordinated from a local command center; most often the ballroom of the nearest hotel.
Aviation accidents and incidents
“The aviation industry should not allow concerns over security to detract from efforts to improve aviation safety,” said Stuart Matthews, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, setting the tone of the 48th Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar held in late April in Hollywood, Fla.
The pilot of the Raytheon Beech Premier I that overran the runway at Herrera International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on January 7 told the NTSB that after making a “normal approach and landing” the lift dump spoilers were activated, “but the system failed.” The airplane hit two vehicles, crossed a road and came to rest inverted. The two pilots and two passengers were not injured.
• Failure of the pilots of two light piston twins to see and avoid each other in VMC caused a midair collision that killed 11 people aboard both airplanes, concluded the NTSB in its final report of the Aug. 9, 2000 accident. The collision, which occurred over Burlington Township, N.J., involved a Patuxent Airways Piper Navajo Chieftain and a Hortman Aviation Services Piper Seminole.
MITSUBISHI MU-300, ANDERSON, IND., MARCH 25, 2002–A Diamond operated by Corporate Flight Management sustained substantial damage during an overrun at Anderson Municipal-Darlington Field (AID). Both pilots and all four passengers escaped unharmed. The Part 135 on-demand air-taxi flight departed Memphis International Airport on an instrument flight plan; preliminary reports show the weather was IMC.
HAWKER SIDDELEY DH.125-1F, SEATTLE, WASH., DEC. 16, 2002–The NTSB determined that the probable cause for this accident was the crew’s failure to verify that the landing gear was down and locked before landing; failure to follow the checklist and an inoperative landing-gear warning horn were cited as factors. At approximately 7:07 p.m.
No one believed for a moment that any hijacked airline pilot would fly a fuel-laden Boeing into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, even with a gun to his or her head. So it was assumed from the beginning that hijackers had to fly them, and the hijackers had to be trained pilots.
The chaos that erupted on the morning of September 11 brought a flood of questions. Where were these airplanes coming from? Who was flying them? Why were they crashing into skyscrapers? In short, what on earth was happening?
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 Portuguese government is investigating the September 12 fatal accident of a 1977 King Air 200 in which the British pilot and all eight Spanish passengers were killed. The twin turboprop crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off on a planned commercial flight from Portugal’s Madeira Islands. The airplane, N600BV, was registered to Willis Lease Finance in Sausalito, Calif.