The crash of Comair Flight 5191 in the early morning darkness of August 27 has given pause to the entire aviation community. As investigators grapple with the question of how an experienced CRJ100 crew could blast down an unlit, 3,500-foot runway without looking at so much as their heading, safety experts are becoming convinced that technology might have broken the chain of events that led to the crash.
The pilot suffered minor injuries and his aircraft was destroyed when he deadsticked a King Air B200 onto a street in Tulsa, Okla., on December 8 about four miles from the threshold of Runway 18L at Tulsa International Airport (TUL). The airplane was about six miles from the TUL runway on a flight that originated from La Crosse, Wis., when first one engine then the other “sputtered” and quit.
Raytheon King Air B200, Tulsa, Okla., Dec. 8, 2004–After losing power on both engines, King Air N6PE made a forced landing four miles north of Runway 18L at Tulsa International Airport (TUL) in night VMC. The airplane was substantially damaged and the instrument-rated 2,100-hour private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. An IFR flight plan was filed for the flight to La Crosse, Wis.
Hawker 700A, Teterboro, N.J., March 8, 2005–At about 10 p.m. EST, Hawker N703TS sustained minor damage while landing at Teterboro Airport (TEB). No one was injured. The pilot instructed the copilot to lower flaps 15 degrees during the approach, about 30 miles from the airport. He requested 25 degrees on a right downwind for Runway 1.
Last month, the FAA followed up on a March 11 e-mail, warning pilots about lax departure operations at Teterboro Airport (TEB), N.J. The latest e-mail graphics cover the Teterboro 5 IFR departure from Runway 24 and the Dalton VFR departure from Runway 19. (See www.ainalerts.com/ ainalerts/R24_T5A_Dalton.pdf.)
Learjet 25, Amarillo, Texas, July 1, 2005–Landing at Amarillo International Airport with a 17-knot crosswind, the 7,300-hour captain was unable to maintain directional control of the Air America Jet Charter Learjet. The airplane struck a runway distance marker and ran off the runway to the left. The left wingtip tank fuel load was 200 to 300 pounds heavier than the load in the right wingtip.
Cessna CitationJet CJ2 525A, Newnan, Ga., July 15, 2005–The NTSB said the CitationJet’s collision with a localizer antenna was caused by the pilot’s delay in aborting the landing and his failure to maintain obstacle clearance. The Safety Board listed as contributing factors hydroplaning and the localizer antenna.
Commander 690A, Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2005–The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing caused the airplane to run off the runway and hit a sign, said the NTSB. While landing on Runway 24 at Cuyahoga County Airport, the Aero Commander began to yaw to the right, and the airplane ran off the runway.
Challenger 600, Tupelo, Miss., March 9, 2005–Inadequate design of the STCed microphone jack assembly, resulting in restricted aft movement of the control column, was blamed for the accident of Romeo Mike Aviation’s Challenger.
Beech King Air 200, Bay View, Texas, Dec. 10, 2004–The ATP pilot’s failure to maintain directional control as a result of his improper runway selection was blamed for the Charter One King Air’s crash into trees on takeoff from Rancho Buena Vista Airport. The right quartering 14-knot tailwind was a contributing factor. The runway was a 3,500-foot grass strip.