Assumptions and expectations in all roles in aviation often lead to the most serious accidents. John and Greg share anecdotes that illustrate the point.
This is a trying time for air travel and air safety. Greg and John are frustrated by the growing number of accidents that are not being investigated by either the NTSB or FAA. They wonder out loud why investigators, who have ample biohazard training, are not able to visit accident scenes to do their job?
Special focus is on American Flight 1420, a MD-80 that crashed at Little Rock Airport in 1999. Greg served as the NTSB investigator in charge (IIC) and John was part of the headquarters support team.
Listen to this wind up to Episode 41, which will dissect the cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Flight 1420 crash site.
John and Greg often make the point that flight safety involves both hangar and cockpit. This episode illustrates the point.
They walk through an accident involving a Cessna 177 Cardinal. The plane was in for annual maintenance. Although the mechanic had signed off in the logbook, the final run up was not completed before the pilot retrieved the plane.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff. The investigation found no oil left in the engine. A loose oil cooler line suspected.
John and Greg highlight the need for mechanic and pilot to share information. Each individually has due diligence responsibilities as well as a shared responsibility to communicate.
This episode includes a big announcement. Avemco Insurance Company has joined the Flight Safety Detectives team as a primary sponsor!
When a Piper Aerostar collided in mid-air with a Bell 412 helicopter over an elementary school in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, in 1991 Greg Feith was among the first investigators on the scene. Greg and John revisit the investigation to highlight NTSB findings that are relevant for pilots today.
The accident started the NTSB discussion and definition of aeronautical decision making. ADM is an important component of safe flying, in the cockpit and the hangar.
In the 1991 accident, five people in both aircraft were killed, including United States Senator John Heinz. Two school children on the ground were also killed by falling debris. More people on the ground were injured.
Greg describes the heartbreaking scene as well as the challenges of recovering evidence from a large debris field. Calling this a tragic event resulting from a “series of simple errors,” Greg talks about the role of crew experience, pilot communication and other notable factors.
Episode 37: Minute-by-Minute Examination of ValuJet Flight 592’s Electronic Witness
The cockpit voice recorder is called the “electronic witness” by crash investigators. In this episode, John and Greg walk through the CVR recovered during the investigation of ValuJet Flight 592 that crashed in the Everglades.
The CVR captures conversations. It also documents ambient noises that offer clues, especially when aligned with information from the flight data recorder.
Greg and John offer insight into what was learned from the CVR. Routine discussions quickly changed with the call of “fire” at 14:10. The recording shows rapid-fire issues unfolding. It chillingly shows that all on board seem to have succumbed to smoke asphyxiation before the plane crashed.
This second-by-second analysis expands on Episode 30 addressing listener questions and interest in detailed CVR analysis.
Flight Safety Detectives Episode #36: The Right Stuff, What It Takes to Be a Great Pilot
A panel discussion from the campus of Vaughn College explores many aspects of a successful career in aviation. From formal education to soft skills, Greg, John and their guests explore the factors that lead to success.
Students discuss their plans and the options they are exploring to start their careers. Also featured are professor Capt. Emerson Allen, experienced pilot Capt. Chinar Shaw, and management department chair Dr. Maxine Lubner.
Listen as panel members share their first-hand experiences and field questions from students.
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is a private college in East Elmhurst, New York, specialized in aviation and engineering education. John serves as an instructor in the management program. This episode was recorded prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in the US.
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