Flight Safety Detectives Episode 41: End of a Long Day and Weather Add Up to Disaster
Greg and John examine the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder from 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.
The 30-min recording reveals the pilots were racing the weather as well as fatigue from a long workday. John and Greg walk through the conversation reflected in the recording, highlighting how different decisions could have changed the deadly outcome.
They offer insights beyond the words of the transcript. What isn’t said and done is as compelling as what is documented in the CVR.
Greg and John discuss the process of looking at the aftermath to determine the cause and what could be learned. Findings led to checklist and operational procedures changes as well as configuration updates at the Little Rock airport.
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