NTSB Blames Akron Air Crash on Crew and Company

NTSB Investigator Adam Gerhardt examines components on-scene in Akron in November 2015. (NTSB)
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The National Transportation Safety Board [has] issued it’s report today (Tues) on the probable cause of a jet crash last November in Akron that killed 9 people.    They put most of the blame on the two crew members and the company that hired them. 

Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports . .

 

NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt said the Florida charter plane company ExecuFlight failed to investigate the fact both its crew members had been fired from other companies and failed to see if they followed proper standards.  He called it “a litany of failures.”

"This organization whether we are talking about the cockpit level or the organizational level, it was infested with sloppiness.” 

Investigators say the crew was not following proper procedures for their approach to the Akron Fulton airport.   They were criticized for a step-down method called “Dive and Drive” for their approach, rather than the preferred steady glide path approach.

NTSB staffer Tom Zoeller said the crew failed to follow standard procedures.

 “…which placed the airplane in an unsafe situation and lead to an unstable eyes to approach without visual contract with the runway environment and an aerodynamic stall. contributing to the accident work were ExecuFlight’s casual attitude toward compliance with standards, inadequate hiring training and operational oversight of the flight crew.”

Board Member Earl Weener notes the Captain should have been at the controls but he allowed the 1st officer to land the jet.

"In this particular case the captain was very reluctant to step in. he had observed the airplane getting slow.  he had warned the first officer against stalling it. he did not ever take over or exercise  his command authority. 

The plane did stall and crashed into an apartment building killing all aboard.

The board recommended stepped-up training for pilots of such aircraft and criticized the Federal Aviation Administration's “insufficient oversight of the company's training program and flight operations.”

 

Mark.Urycki@ideastream.org

 

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