Some flight plans have aviation safety risks baked in. Todd Curtis and John Goglia discuss a runway excursion accident involving a student pilot who in the same flight was attempting to satisfy both a night currency requirement and a 250 nautical mile training flight requirement for an instrument certification.
The plan literally went off track during the attempted takeoff at the fourth stage of the flight plan.
“They bent some metal, no one was injured, but there is a lot to learn from this incident,” John says.
The original plan involved a flight of well over 400 nautical miles of night flying, well exceeding the training requirement. The plan also involved landing and takeoff at two busy airports. Due to traffic, weather, and fueling station issues, two unplanned fuel stops were added.
Todd and John talk about the decisions made before this flight began that created unnecessary safety risks. Among the takeaways was the need to make better flight plans and to change those plans as circumstances unfold.
You had to be there to know the full story of the plane crash of USAir Flight 5050. John Goglia was, and he shares the experience.
Todd Curtis and John discuss the fatal 1989 crash of USAir Flight 5050 at La Guardia Airport in New York. John directly participated in the accident investigation as a mechanic with USAir. He shares accident investigation details well beyond the official report.
The extraordinary amount of media attention around the accident and the flight crew impacted the sequence of events. The reported “missing pilots” were only missing to the media, having been moved away from the scene by investigators to protect them from the frenzy. John also reveals how the media got recordings of investigation team status meetings.
flight safety detectives episode 170 - keith green plane crash shows value of accident investigation
The fiery plane crash that killed Christian music star Keith Green and 11 others resulted in aviation safety lessons for every pilot. The NTSB accident report also has safety takeaways for anyone who rents or uses aircraft and pilots that are not their own.
Greg Feith, Todd Curtis, and John Goglia talk about the circumstances of the fatal 1982 air crash. The thorough NTSB accident investigation documents the roles that the overloaded and unbalanced aircraft and the pilot’s experience played in the tragedy.
Greg and John compare the detailed findings in this report with the more superficial summaries that are the norm for today’s NTSB accident reports. This report contains valuable aviation safety findings that can help pilots avoid similar mistakes.
The NTSB has a message for mechanics – pay attention to B-nuts! Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia dig into NTSB Safety Alert 086, which highlights four accidents that were caused in part by improperly tightened b-nuts.
Small parts led to big problems. Two of the accidents were fatal.
They focus on one accident that involves a very experienced pilot who also performed maintenance on the accident aircraft. The Bell 206 helicopter crashed following a fuel leak. The NTSB found that when he did maintenance on the aircraft, he failed to properly torque the nut.
Failure to follow defined procedures in the maintenance hangar and in the cockpit is the leading cause of aviation accidents. The pilot in this accident was fortunately able to walk away from the accident caused by not following the engine repair steps outlined by Rolls Royce.
The Flight Safety Detectives offer advice and details not found in the NTSB report and safety bulletin to help every pilot and mechanic avoid similar issues. Of the “dirty dozen” workplace mistakes, John believes complacency is the most prevalent and dangerous.
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