Tag Archives: national transportation safety board

The NTSB blames the crew for the crash of UPS flight 1354 at Birmingham, Alabama

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)(LRW)

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that UPS flight 1354 crashed because the crew continued an unstabilized approach into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the crew failed to monitor the altitude and inadvertently descended below the minimum descent altitude when the runway was not yet in sight.

The board also found that the flight crew’s failure to properly configure the on-board flight management computer, the first officer’s failure to make required call-outs, the captain’s decision to change the approach strategy without communicating his change to the first officer, and flight crew fatigue all contributed to the accident.

The airplane, an Airbus A300-600, crashed in a field short of runway 18 in Birmingham on August 14, 2013, at 4:47 a.m. The captain and first officer, the only people aboard, both lost their lives, and the airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The flight originated from UPS’s hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

“An unstabilized approach is a less safe approach,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “When an approach is unstable, there is no shame in playing it safe by going around and trying again.”

The NTSB determined that because the first officer did not properly program the flight management computer, the autopilot was not able to capture and fly the desired flight path onto runway 18. When the flight path was not captured, the captain, without informing the first officer, changed the autopilot mode and descended at a rate that violated UPS’s stabilized approach criteria once the airplane descended below 1,000 feet above the airport elevation.

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the FAA, UPS, the Independent Pilots Association and Airbus. The recommendations address safety issues identified in the investigation, including ensuring that operations and training materials include clear language requiring abandoning an unstable approach; the need for recurrent dispatcher training that includes both dispatchers and flight crews; the need for all relevant weather information to be provided to pilots in dispatch and enroute reports; opportunities for improvement in fatigue awareness and management among pilots and operators; the need for increased awareness among pilots and operators of the limitations of terrain awareness and warning systems — and for procedures to assure safety given these limitations.

A synopsis of the NTSB report is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/birmingham_al/birmingham_al.html

Top Copyright Photo: NTSB.

UPS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. The two crew members were tragically killed in the crash.

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NTSB: “Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) yesterday (June 24) issued its probable cause and report on the July 6, 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 with the pictured Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) at San Francisco. Here is the full statement and link:

In a Board meeting held on June 24, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed. The Board also found that the complexities of the auto throttle and autopilot flight director systems, and the crew’s misunderstanding of those systems, contributed to the accident.

On July 6, 2013, about 11:28 a.m. (PDT), the Boeing 777 was on approach to runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California when it struck the seawall at the end of the runway. Three of the 291 passengers died; 40 passengers, eight of the 12 flight attendants, and one of the four flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The other 248 passengers, four flight attendants, and three flight crewmembers received minor injuries or were not injured. The impact forces and a postcrash fire destroyed the airplane.

The NTSB determined that the flight crew mismanaged the initial approach and that the airplane was well above the desired glidepath as it neared the runway. In response to the excessive altitude, the captain selected an inappropriate autopilot mode and took other actions that, unbeknownst to him, resulted in the autothrottle no longer controlling airspeed.

As the airplane descended below the desired glidepath, the crew did not notice the decreasing airspeed nor did they respond to the unstable approach. The flight crew began a go-around maneuver when the airplane was below 100 feet, but it was too late and the airplane struck the seawall.

“In this accident, the flight crew over-relied on automated systems without fully understanding how they interacted,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Automation has made aviation safer. But even in highly automated aircraft, the human must be the boss.”

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration, Asiana Airlines, The Boeing Company, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group, and the City of San Francisco.

These recommendations address the safety issues identified in the investigation, including the need for reinforced adherence to Asiana flight crew standard operating procedures, more opportunities for manual flying for Asiana pilots, a context-dependent low energy alerting system, and both certification design review and enhanced training on the Boeing 777 autoflight system.

The recommendations also address the need for improved emergency communications, and staffing requirements and training for aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel.

“Today, good piloting includes being on the lookout for surprises in how the automation works, and taking control when needed,” Hart said. “Good design means not only maximizing reliability, but also minimizing surprises and uncertainties.”

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the 27 safety recommendations, is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2014/asiana214/abstract.html. The full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 is pictured on approach at Los Angeles International Airport before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 was possibly headed towards the Indian Ocean

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with 239 people on board remains lost and has become a bigger mystery. The search area has now been broadened. Malaysia is now asking for international help, especially from Europe, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to review the conflicting radar data.

Malaysia Air Force chief has denied military and government reports the Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) turned around and headed west to the Malacca Strait although this area is now part of the official search area.

The transponder was apparently turned off when it apparently turned to the west.

In summary, no one knows for sure where flight MH 370 has gone and there has been no confirmed debris found from the flight. It remains a mystery.

Read the full report by the BBC: CLICK HERE

New Straits Times has been comprehensively covering this story – here are all of their local articles: CLICK HERE

Pictorial video from New Strait Times:

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Questions and answers on the MH 370 disappearance from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Time Magazine: 6 mysterious airplane disappearances in aviation history: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines.

We have deployed teams of caregivers consisting of trained MAS staff and volunteers from Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Foundation. These caregivers are stationed at five different locations at Beijing and four different locations in Kuala Lumpur.

As of now, we have 115 family members in Kuala Lumpur and they are taken care of by 72 different caregivers. At least one caregiver is assigned to each family together with a Mandarin translator for the families from China.

The caregivers have been keeping the families updated on the search and rescue efforts as well as provide emotional support.

Equal amount of initial financial assistance are being given out to all families of passengers and crew over and above their basic needs. This amount is extended to families of all crew and passengers in Malaysia as well those from other nations.

We regret and empathise with the families and we will do whatever we can to ease.

 

 

NTSB Chairperson Hersman briefs the media on hearing into crash of a UPS Airbus A300 in Birmingham, Alabama

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)

NTSB Chairperson Hersman briefs the media after investigative hearing into Alabama UPS cargo airplane crash last August.

NTSB is also investigating Monday’s turbulence accident involving United Airlines flight 1676.

Read the full story of the United incident: CLICK HERE

Video:

Wrong airport Southwest Airlines pilots “mistook bright runway lights” for their intended Branson airport

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Southwest Airlines (Dallas) pilots who landed at the wrong Branson, Missouri airport on January 12 told NTSB investigators “they mistook the bright runway lights of the smaller M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport for their intended destination at Branson Airport”, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) statement and this report by Reuters.

The pilots stated they did not realize they were at the wrong airport until they had landed, which required heavy braking.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read the follow-up report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

NTSB Chairman Hersman’s briefing on the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash at San Francisco

National Transportation Safety Board’s Chairperson Hersman briefs the media at yesterday’s hearing in Washington on the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash. The main theme of the investigation is centered around the overuse of automation.

Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE

NTSB: The captain took over Southwest flight 345 seconds before its hard landing at New York LaGuardia Airport on July 22

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued this statement regarding the investigation of the hard landing of Southwest Airlines (Dallas) flight 345 at New York (LaGuardia) on July 22, 2013:

In its continuing investigation of the July 22 accident in which Southwest Airlines flight 345, a Boeing 737-700, landed hard at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information:

  • The captain has been with Southwest for almost 13 years and has been a captain for six of those years. The captain has over 12,000 total flight hours, over 7,000 of which are as pilot-in-command. In 737s, the captain has over 7,900 hours, with more than 2,600 as the pilot-in-command.
  • The first officer has been with Southwest for about 18 months. The pilot has about 5,200 total flight hours, with 4,000 of those as pilot-in-command. In 737s, the first officer has about 1,100 hours, none of which are as the pilot-in-command.
  • This was the first trip the flight crew had flown together and it was the second leg of the trip. The first officer had previous operational experience at LGA, including six flights in 2013. The captain reported having flown into LGA twice, including the accident flight, serving as the pilot monitoring for both flights.
  • The en route phase of the flight, which originated in Nashville, was characterized by the flight crew as routine. On approach into LGA, the first officer was the pilot flying and the captain was the pilot monitoring. SWA 345 was cleared for the ILS Runway 4 approach.
  • The weather in the New York area caused the accident flight to enter a holding pattern for about 15 minutes. The crew reported that they saw the airport from about 5-10 miles out and that the airplane was on speed, course and glideslope down to about 200-400 feet.
  • The crew reported that below 1,000 feet, the tailwind was about 11 knots. They also reported that the wind on the runway was a headwind of about 11 knots.
  • SWA 345 proceeded on the approach when at a point below 400 feet, there was an exchange of control of the airplane and the captain became the flying pilot and made the landing.
  • The jetliner touched down on the runway nose first followed by the collapse of the nose gear; the airplane was substantially damaged.

At this point in the investigation, no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions have been found. A preliminary examination of the nose gear indicated that it failed due to stress overload.

Investigators have collected five videos showing various aspects of the crash landing. The team will be analyzing these recordings in the coming months.

Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Southwest Airlines, and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

This is a factual update only and no interviews are being conducted.