A pilot’s report of 40% engine power is just one of many unexplained facts in the NTSB report of a crash involving a modified Cessna 150. The banner-towing flight crashed while attempting to land in Riverside, California.
Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia discuss a Cessna 150 banner tow plane accident where the pilot had engine issues shortly before landing and made an emergency landing near the airport. They discuss unusual decisions made by the pilot, including taking off in challenging weather conditions and trying to restart the engine while in the airport traffic pattern.
The NTSB left out key details and findings in the accident report. The probable cause does not explain why the plane crashed. Fuel starvation is cited, yet there was fuel on board.
Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia discuss the role of pilot decision making in a crash of a Cessna 152 in Florida. The pilot decided to do some practice flying at night and under low visibility conditions with deadly results.
The NTSB investigation of the 2015 fatal crash did not seriously investigate several apparent issues, including the quality of the accident pilot’s training and English language proficiency. Hear the recording with Air Traffic Control to get a sense of the severe communication issues that occurred.
Like many accidents, the trajectory of this accident was set before the pilot took off. John, Todd and Greg talk about a series of poor decisions and inappropriate actions.
The Flight Safety Detectives find that the NTSB didn’t ask the right questions as they investigated this accident. The result is a report that lacks important safety findings.
Commercial space operations pose significant aviation safety challenges. Safety systems and processes need to evolve to meet the demands of new technologies and approaches. John Goglia and Todd Curtis discuss human factors issues with experimental aircraft.
They examine the single commercial space accident in the NTSB database. The investigation looked at the 2014 inflight breaking of Scaled Composite’s SpaceShip Tow spacecraft over the Mojave Desert.
A disconnect between how engineers expected the aircraft to be operated and pilot behavior in the cockpit appears to be at the root of this accident. They look particularly at assumptions made about how the flight crew would manage critical spacecraft systems.
John shares takeaways from his review of other accidents involving test and experimental aircraft. A common thread is that during the development of these aircraft, assumptions are generally made about the crew that will fly them.
They talk about how innovations in commercial space challenge the FAA to set proper guidelines for testing. And, how the persistent need to consider human factors in aviation is a thread that traces back to the earliest days of flight.
John Goglia, Greg Feith, and Todd Curtis discuss the 1985 crash of an Eastern Airlines 727 in the mountains of Bolivia. Greg was an on-site NTSB investigator for the crash that was the start of one of the worst commercial aviation accident years in history.
Greg led an expedition to the Andes Mountains to attempt to retrieve the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. He offers a preview of a two-hour documentary that will focus on the accident.
They also discuss a variety of ground incidents that have led to injuries and fatalities on the ramp. One in Washington DC involved a baggage handler who walked into a propeller. In another, another ground crew was killed by an airplane engine.
Greg and John worked an accident in El Paso, Texas where a mechanic working on an engine cowling was killed. His hat came loose and he was sucked into the engine.
They share lessons that everyone who works around airplanes should follow. Ground equipment, jetways and ramps all present situations that demand safety awareness.
flight safety detectives, episode 163 - Live! from the 2023 aerospace maintenance competition
John Goglia, Greg Feith, and Todd Curtis share news from the 2023 Aerospace Maintenance Competition held during MRO Americas in Atlanta. More than 80 maintenance teams from around the world participated in this year’s competition.
John is a long-time organizer of the event, and Todd is involved in human factors aspects of the competition. Competitors tackled 26 testing areas.
Also on hand were some big names in commercial aviation. Many job offers were made onsite. Competitors demonstrate the skills airlines need to support quality maintenance programs.
The Flight Safety Detectives discuss all the opportunities that the competitors have at the event, particularly students in aviation maintenance technician training programs. Hear why this year featured a special energy that made it the best competition yet.
On April 20, PAMA recognized its 2023 scholarship award recipients during the award ceremony at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Atlanta.
The award recipients are as follows:
Congratulations to all our award recipients. Visit the scholarship page for more information on the application deadline for 2024, and to contribute to the PAMA scholarship fund.
Flight Safety Detectives episode 161 - Famed R&B Singer Killed in Air Crash Caused by Safety Errors
Eight passengers and a pilot were onboard the Cessna 402B charter flight. John and Todd discuss the details of the accident report and the multiple organizational issues of the aircraft operator.
They find that shoddy airline operations are at the center of the cause of this event. They talk about the specific shortcomings that involve everything from pilot verification, to aircraft maintenance to illegal operations.
John and Todd talk about the management oversight and systems needed to safely operate a charter airline. They also cover the responsibility of people booking these flights to check out who they are working with.
The South Texas PAMA Golf Classic is coming up on April 18th, 2023, and there are still a few spots remaining to attend.
The South Texas Chapter is on track to award over $85,000 in aviation scholarships this year. For more information on attending this incredible event, networking with industry professionals, and supporting future AMT’s, contact Chad Tew or visit their website for more info.
flight safety detectives episode 159 - loss of control of structural flight breakup?
The crash of a Pilatus PC-12 this February 24 killed all five aboard. John Goglia and Greg Feith use their investigation prowess to examine whether the air crash was caused by pilot loss of control or structural inflight breakup that led to loss of control.
Greg and John discuss the preliminary NTSB accident report and analyze ADS-B data from the flight. They review the facts that show why this accident is likely more than a case of spatial disorientation.
The crash was the third fatal accident for air ambulance provider Guardian Flight. Investigators will need to get a true picture of the event through data and weather analysis, examination of the wreckage, and detailing the sequence of events starting well before takeoff.
Greg walks through ADS-B data that indicates the initial climb initially appeared normal. At about 18,000 feet, the speeds and heading diverge from normal. Soon after, the plane goes into a spiraling pattern. The data will need to be correlated with the physical evidence collected to create an accurate scenario.
“Looking at the data threw up red flags for me. We need the facts, conditions and circumstances to properly analyze what happened,” Greg says.
A Cessna 441 Conquest had an engine issue and landed without incident. A fix was made, but that’s not the end of the story. A second incident occurred that revealed damage not initially discovered. The Flight Safety Detectives share major safety takeaways from this sequence of events.
The focus is on an Australian investigation of a 2021 incident. During some engine maintenance, two adjacent oil lines were transposed. The error was discovered when the engine did not operate properly in flight. A field repair was done, but a short time later there was another engine problem.
The transposed lines led to damage to the oil pump. Fortunately, neither engine incident caused an accident.
This incident would not have met the NTSB criteria for investigation, but the Australian ATSB did gather information and generate a report. That report highlights how seemingly small maintenance errors can cause larger problems.
John Goglia, Todd Curtis, and Greg Feith review the findings. They go beyond the general recommendations made by the ATSB and discuss specific maintenance procedure changes that could improve aviation safety.
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