NTSB releases factual information regarding 2010 plane crash involving former Senator Stevens

April 21, 2011

The airplane wreckage (photo: NTSB)

As part of its continuing investigation into the August 9, 2010 aviation accident in Alaska, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made the accident docket available to the public.

Both former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe were among the eight passengers aboard the DHC-3T Turbine Otter aircraft that crashed northeast of Aleknagik. The pilot and four passengers, including Senator Stevens, were killed. The other four passengers were seriously injured.

The accident docket contains NTSB factual reports including: operations, meteorology, survival factors, powerplants, aircraft performance, human performance, airworthiness, and a synopsis of medical records.
Also included are exhibits, interview transcripts, photographs, and other documents from the on-going investigation. Additional material will be added to the docket as it becomes available.

The information released is factual in nature and does not provide any analysis. A determination of findings, probable cause, and recommendations will be released during the public NTSB Board Meeting on May 24, 2011.

More information:


Accident: Iran Air Boeing 727 crashes near Urumiyeh

January 9, 2011

An Iran Air Boeing 727 passenger jet was damaged beyond repair in an accident about 8 km from Urmia (Orumiyeh) Airport (OMH), Iran. About seventy occupants were reportedly killed.

Iran Air flight IR277 departed Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR) at 18:15 on a domestic flight to Urmia (Orumiyeh) Airport (OMH). The flight was delayed over two hours due to severe weather at the destination.

There were 93 passengers and twelve crew members on board. The Deputy Minister of Roads and Transportation indicated that the accident occurred during a forced landing outside the airport. A spokesperson from the Red Crescent organisation said 70 people were killed in the accident.

Update Jan 10, 05:20 UTC: Latest media reports indicate that 77 people were killed, 26 people were injured and two missing.

Update Jan 10, 20:25 UTC: Latest media reports (IRAN) confirm that 77 people were killed.

Weather reported about the time of the accident (16:15 UTC / 19:45 local) was:

OITR 091600Z 26004KT 0800 SN SCT015 SCT020 OVC060 00/00 Q1016=

This METAR report from 16:00 UTC indicates:

  • Wind 260 degrees at 4 knots
  • Visibility 800 m in snow
  • Scattered clouds 1,500 ft
  • Scattered clouds 2,000 ft.
  • Overcast 6,000 ft.
  • Temperature 0°C
  • Dew point 0°C
  • Pressure 1016 hPa

According to local aviation sources in Iran, the airplane involved in the accident was EP-IRP. This has not yet been confirmed by CAO officials. EP-IRP is a Boeing 727-286 that was delivered to the airline in 1974.

Update Jan 10, 20:25 UTC: The registration has been confirmed based on photographs of the accident scene

According to Aviation Safety Network data, this accident is the 10th worst accident in Iran.  The previous fatal accident involving a Boeing 727 on a passenger service, happened about six years ago, in December 2003.

More information:


Report: Pilot’s non-adherence to procedures causes fatal USAF C-17 crash

December 11, 2010

The USAF Accident Investigation Board reported that the July 2010 accident involving a C-17 Globemaster III was caused by “pilot error”.

The McDonnell Douglas C-17A Globemaster III transport plane was operated by the US Air Force 517AS/3rd Wing and was going to practice maneuvers for the upcoming  Arctic Thunder Air Show at Anchorage-Elmendorf AFB, AK (EDF).

The airplane executed a takeoff from runway 06. After the initial climb out and left turn, the pilot executed an aggressive right turn. As the aircraft banked, the stall warning system activated to alert the crew of an impending stall. Instead of implementing stall recovery procedures, the pilot continued the turn as planned, and the aircraft entered a stall from which recovery was not possible. Although the pilot eventually attempted to recover the aircraft, he employed incorrect procedures, and there was not sufficient altitude to regain controlled flight.The aircraft impacted wooded terrain northwest of the airfield, damaged a portion of the Alaskan Railroad, and was destroyed.

The board president found clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The pilot violated regulatory provisions and multiple flight manual procedures, placing the aircraft outside established flight parameters at an attitude and altitude where recovery was not possible. Furthermore, the copilot and safety observer did not realize the developing dangerous situation and failed to make appropriate inputs. In addition to multiple procedural errors, the board president found sufficient evidence that the crew on the flight deck ignored cautions and warnings and failed to respond to various challenge and reply items. The board also found channelized attention, overconfidence, expectancy, misplaced motivation, procedural guidance, and program oversight substantially contributed to the mishap.

Henan Airlines’ name revoked

August 28, 2010

It  has been reported that the name of the airline Henan Airlines, which suffered a fatal accident on August 24, 2010, has been revoked.

The Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce said the decision to revoke permission to use the provincial name for the airline was taken because the name tarnished the province’s image.

The news has been reported by AP and several other news sources. The article on this subject on the Chinese Xinhua News Agency web site has been removed.

Meanwhile, it was announced that China’s State Council has set up a special taskforce involving six central government agencies to investigate the crash.

The investigation team consists of officials from State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), Ministry of Supervision, Civil Aviation Administration of China, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, Ministry of Public Security, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and the provincial government of Heilongjiang, said Liang Jiakun, vice director of SAWS.

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