Shorts 330 crash flags non-compliance

[Ref Flight International | 8-14 October 2019 p.14]

The accident was happened on 5 May 2017 when a Shorts 330 freighter attempting to land at Charleston, Virginia. The plane departed the left side of the runway, its left wing breaking away, and the aircraft tumbled into rough ground. Neither of the two crew members, the only occupants, survived. The inquiry says the descent rate was not in accordance with company guidance.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have determined that the crew had a history of intentional procedural noncompliance during approach.The captain’s recent performance history, including an unsatisfactory check ride due to poor instrument flying, indicated that his instrument flight skills were marginal.

Ironically, the Captain and the First Officer had been permanently paired by the carrier. Information released earlier by the inquiry indicated that the first officer had previously expressed concerns – in text messages to friends – about the captain’s manner and flying abilities.

NTSB suggests the first officer was “not in the habit of speaking up” and that the difference in experience – the captain had nearly 4,400h flight time compared with the first officer’s 650h – probably created a steep authority gradient and a “barrier to communication”.

Also, Air Cargo Carriers had no formal safety and oversight programme to assess compliance with operating procedures or to monitor pilots with performance issues.



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