The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has determined that Asiana Flight 214 crashed on July 6 last year at San Francisco International Airport because the flight crew mismanaged the approach and inadequately monitored airspeed. Announcing the findings at a meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the Board also found that the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems and the crew’s misunderstanding of those systems contributed to the accident.
Southwest Airlines Flight
The NTSB’s investigation into the Gulfstream IV-SP that crashed while taking off from Runway 11 at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston on May 31 appears to be focusing on the twinjet’s control wheel mechanical gust-lock system, according to a preliminary accident report released by the agency today. “After the rotate callout, the cockpit voice recorder captured comments concerning aircraft control,” the report notes. All seven aboard–three crewmembers and four passengers–died in the accident.
Preliminary Report: TBM 700 Crashes into Reservoir
The pilots of the UPS Airbus A300-600F that crashed on approach to Runway 18 at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM) in Alabama on August 14 received a cockpit warning that they were descending too fast. The “sink rate, sink rate” warning, which was captured on the cockpit voice recorder recovered on August 15, was given 16 seconds before impact. Three seconds later one of the pilots was heard telling the other that the runway was in sight, according to NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.
Preliminary Report: King Air Pilot Escapes Road Landing
Beechcraft King Air 200, Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Ill., June 26, 2013–The sole-occupant pilot of a King Air 200 was not injured when the aircraft landed on a four-lane highway short of the approach end of Runway 16 at KPWK. The King Air narrowly missed striking apartment buildings, and no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged when the right wing struck a tree. There was no fire.
No passengers were injured when an American Airlines Boeing 757 ran off the end of Runway 19 at Jackson Hole Airport (JAC]), Jackson Hole, Wyo., in December 2010, but a number of safety issues highlighted in the NTSB report make the event worth reviewing.
Few these days would question the effectiveness of engineered material arresting systems (Emas) in stopping wayward aircraft, and to prove the point Key West International Airport pulled off a double last fall. In the span of four days, the airport (which had not experienced a runway overrun in 30 years) saw two business jets suffer apparent brake failures while landing in opposite directions on its 4,801-foot runway 09/27. At the east end of the runway there was an Emas; at the west end there was not.
While the high-speed runway excursions that result in crumpled aircraft may make the evening news, they are only the most visible examples of what is becoming a growing trend, said Paul Ratté, aviation safety programs director at USAIG. Last month the insurance provider sponsored a safety seminar along with NBAA and the Westchester Aviation Association at a hotel in Westchester County, New York; it will be repeated on June 20 in Connecticut at Key Air’s Waterbury-Oxford Airport facility.
Preliminary Report: Twinjet Crashes on Approach in Germany
Cessna 750 Citation X, Egelsbach, Germany, March 1, 2012–While on approach to Egelsbach Airport at the conclusion of a flight from Linz, Austria, the U.S.-registered twinjet crashed and burned in a wooded area, killing the two crewmembers and the three passengers. German accident investigators recovered the Citation X’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorders for analysis.
Preliminary Report: German Turboprop Misses Runway in Snow
When I look at the Caribbean Airlines 737-800 that slid off a rain-soaked runway on July 30 at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan Airport outside Georgetown, without any fatalities and with only relatively minor injuries, I have two immediate reactions. The first is disappointment that we still have not gotten a handle on preventing runway excursions, the leading cause of accidents these days for commercial and corporate aviation.
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