Flight Safety Detectives Episode 81: Chain of Events Leads to Tragic LAX Runway Accident
USAir Flight 1493, a Boeing 737-300, collided with SkyWest Flight 5569, a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft, upon landing at Los Angeles International Airport in Feb.1991. John led the machinist’s union investigation and discusses the chain of events that led to this accident.
The air traffic local controller was distracted by a series of abnormalities when Flight 1493 was on final approach. The SkyWest flight was told to taxi into takeoff position while the USAir flight was landing on the same runway. It was crushed under the 737.
The exit at the front of the Boeing were jammed and could not be opened. Other exit doors were also compromised, leaving the over wing exit as the only egress. The fuel ignited and caused an intense fire. All 12 people aboard the smaller plane were killed, as well as 23 occupants of the Boeing.
The machinist team found themselves having to stabilize the accident scene, working around many victims. They worked alongside other investigators as all the facts were gathered.
The National Transportation Safety Board found that the probable cause of the accident was the procedures in use at the LAX control tower and inadequate oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to supervise the control tower managers. The crash led directly to the NTSB’s recommendation of using different runways for takeoffs and landings at LAX. It also led to changes in procedures for use of aircraft safety exits.
Greg and John also discuss content being shared online about recent accidents that is incorrect and misleading. The unsubstantiated conclusions being shared are doing a disservice to aviation safety. They stress that proper accident investigation takes time to dig into all the facts.
flight safety detectives episode 81 - inside the investigation of korean air flight 801
Greg was the investigator in charge of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation of Korean Air Flight 801. He shares backstories not in the report to add to understanding of the accident and aftermath.
Flight 801 crashed on August 6, 1997, killing 229 of the 254 people aboard. The aircraft crashed on Nimitz Hill in Guam while on approach to the airport. The NTSB final report cites poor communication between the flight crew as probable cause for the air crash, along with the captain’s poor decision-making.
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Greg shares details about the role of the minimum safe altitude warning system (MSAW), the partial outage of the Guam ILS system, and cultural factors that impeded cockpit dynamics.
Oshkosh 2021 was an adventure! More than 600,000 people and 10,000 planes were onsite. Greg and John took it all in and share the highlights.
The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital was a special exhibit. John had worked on the plane when it was in service for an airline. The Flying Eye Hospital is a state-of-the-art teaching facility complete with operating room, classroom and recovery room. Part of the innovation is a modular interior.
Several unique restored planes were on display. Greg talks about the plane from the 1950s Sky King television show. He also shares the fascinating history of a restored Aero Commander 500 that served as Air Force One to transport President Eisenhower to his Pennsylvania farm.
The event was well attended by Flight Safety Detectives listeners. Greg and John enjoyed meeting folks. Comments from those conversations and emails will be used to shape future shows. Expect to hear more about the nuts and bolts of accident investigation, dissections of lesser-known investigations and more!
John and Greg also examine 10 flight instruction related accidents that happened in a recent two-week period. They are looking for trends. Observations include lack of operational discipline, rusty skills following 2020 shutdowns, and over-reliance on technology.
Catch the video below, or that an more at https://flightsafetydetectives.com/eaa-airventure-oshkosh-2021-recap-episode-80/
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