Although the NTSB blamed the commercial pilot of a Mitsubishi MU-2 that crashed in Parker, Colo., in August 2005 for his failure to fly a stabilized instrument approach in IMC at night, factors cited by the NTSB included the “inadequate design and function” of the FAA’s minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) system and faulty FAA procedures.
Aviation accidents and incidents
In its January 10 modified final report on the fatal crash of a Cessna Caravan more than three years ago, the NTSB said thre was “no evidence of an in-flight collision or breakup, or of external contact with a foreign object.” There had been speculation in the industry that the freight-carrying turboprop single might have collided with another object or airplane, perhaps a nearby FedEx DC-10, before it lost control and crashed on Oct.
At a public hearing yesterday, the NTSB singled out Part 91 operations in a special study on helicopter and fixed-wing EMS accidents. Between 1994 and 2004, the number of accidents doubled, with 83 since 1998. Main accident causes are CFIT, inadvertent operation into IMC and spatial disorientation or lack of situational awareness in night operations.
A wrongful-death suit was filed yesterday by the family of the flight attendant killed in the Nov. 22, 2004, crash of a Gulfstream III on a positioning leg to pick up former president George H.W. Bush. Named as defendants are, among others, Dallas charter operator Business Jet Services and the estates of the two deceased pilots.
The Citation 560 (N86CE) crash in Carlsbad, Calif., on January 24 apparently followed an “attempted aborted landing” on Runway 24 at McClellan-Palomar Airport, according to the NTSB’s preliminary report. The two pilots and two passengers were killed. Approaching at a much higher than normal speed, the Citation touched down more than 1,500 feet down the 4,900-foot-long runway. The thrust reversers were deployed, then stowed.
The NTSB in its final report released this morning said the crew of a Hendrick Motorsports King Air 200 lost situational awareness and overflew Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport, Va., before crashing on Oct. 24, 2004. IMC prevailed and the turboprop twin had been cleared for the Localizer Runway 30 approach.
The NTSB concluded that the pilot’s “inadvertent flight” into severe icing and his “inadequate planning” for the forecast weather was the probable cause of the Jan. 11, 2005 accident involving a Mountain Flight Service air ambulance King Air E90. The two pilots and a medic were killed when the turboprop twin crashed into mountainous terrain while on approach to Rawlins Municipal Airport, Wyo.
The NTSB determined the probable causes of two helicopter accidents. In one, a sightseeing Bell 206L LongRanger that crashed into the East River in Manhattan on takeoff was found to be 222 pounds overweight. The Board blamed the Helicopter Professionals pilot’s “inadequate preflight planning” in the June 14, 2005 crash. One passenger was severely injured.
On March 3 Falcon 900EX N973M sustained minor damage during a landing overrun at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. According to the NTSB preliminary report issued today, the trijet was initially cleared for the ILS to Runway 6. However, after a wind check reported the wind from 290 degrees at 10 knots, the pilots requested clearance to land on the reciprocal Runway 24.
The NTSB Friday released preliminary statistics for last year showing an increase in aviation accidents for airline and general aviation operations, and a decline for on-demand air taxis. According to the Safety Board, there were 1,669 accidents in 2005 involving recip and turbine GA aircraft versus 1,617 in 2004. The 562 fatalities involved in GA accidents were four more than in 2004. The NTSB also reported fewer GA flight hours.