Five people were killed in the crash of a King Air E90 on June 23 and two people were hurt in the crash of a C90 on June 13. The pilot and the four passengers aboard the E90 (N62BL) died during an attempt to land at False River Regional Airport in New Roads, La., at about 7:20 p.m. The twin turboprop had departed from Jonesboro, Ark., about two hours earlier.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Jet and turboprop operations under Part 91 were responsible for an increase in fatal turbine business airplane accidents in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to preliminary figures from corporate aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla.
The National Transportation Safety Board last week issued its final report on a February 21 accident at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport in which a Learjet 55, landing in extreme adverse weather conditions, ran off the end of the runway. Witnesses said that seconds after landing, the aircraft encountered “a wall of water” produced by a severe microburst.
A Twin Commander taking off full length from 5,000-foot Runway 12R at North Las Vegas Airport for a VFR surveillance flight appeared never to get out of ground effect before it hit terrain about 600 feet southeast of the runway. The twin recip was destroyed and the pilot and two passengers were injured in the July 21 accident. Witnesses told the NTSB that they saw the airplane airborne but not climbing.
An NTSB investigation is under way into the crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2 while on an IFR approach to Centennial Airport, Colo., on August 5. The sole-occupant pilot was killed. N454MA, registered to Flight Line of Adams, Colo., was reportedly on an air-taxi cargo flight from Salt Lake City and had been cleared to land when it crashed about 2.5 miles south of the airport.
Cypriot and Italian salvage crews today found the flight data recorder from the Tuninter ATR 72-200 that crashed off the northern coast of Sicily on August 6. Yesterday they retrieved the cockpit voice recorder and recovered the bodies of three missing occupants among the remaining wreckage at the bottom of the Tyrrhenian Sea, 14 nm northeast of Palermo.
Even though weather-related accidents are not frequent, they account for a large number of aviation fatalities. According to the NTSB, only 6 percent of general aviation accidents are weather-related but they account for more than 25 percent of all GA fatalities annually. NTSB investigators collected data from 72 GA accidents that occurred between August 2003 and April 2004.
Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.
The economy is emerging from the soup not with the sudden clarity of a westbound flight through the shattered remnants of a cold front, but more as if it were groping its way through the patchy passing of a stubborn warm front. Against this backdrop, business aviation met in Geneva, Switzerland, and dared to hope that the improvement is durable enough to mark a sustained upswing in the economic cycle.
Andre Dosé resigned his post as CEO of Swiss International Airlines last month amid a continuing investigation into the Nov. 21, 2001 crash of a Crossair Avro RJ100 near Basseldorf, Switzerland. Swiss chairman Pieter Bouw has replaced Dosé as CEO.