Monday, March 23, 2009

2 Killed As MD-11 Flown by FedEx Crashes in Japan

A FedEx MD-11 jet crashed on landing at Narita Airport near Tokyo this morning, killing the captain and the first officer, who were the only ones on board the cargo flight from Guangzhou, China.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are en route to the scene.

FedEx identified the victims as Capt. Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, of Hillsboro, Ore., and First Officer Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, of San Antonio.

There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash. But the safety record of the aged MD-11 model jets has been called into question in the past. See here. And also here.

Meanwhile, NTSB investigators in Butte, Montana, today are trying to sort out the crash that killed at least 14 yesterday when a turboprop Pilatus PC-12 regional airliner crashed on landing, after diverting from its destination in Bozeman.

As I noted in the previous post today, there are several crucial questions that must be answered.

The NTSB said today that is was looking into whether that plane was carrying more people than it was certified to carry.

The number of dead in that crash has not yet been officially announced. Initial reports said 17 had been killed, including the pilot. Current reports say at least 14 died.

Nor has it been disclosed who the operator of that flight was, and whether it was a charter flight -- and if so, whether the operator was in compliance with all of the rules. The flight originated in California. On board were children and adults bound for a ski holiday near Bozeman.

Nor has it been disclosed why the pilot diverted to Butte. The role of air traffic control is still unclear, as well. Nor is it clear why the plane did not have a cockpit voice recorder.

[UPDATE: In comment below, Randal L. Schwartz points out that Part 135 charters aren't required to have cockpit voice recorders, which I did not know. The NTSB wants them to, as on-demand charters have the highest accident rate. Here's some background if you're really, really interested in the detail.}

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2 comments:

Randal L. Schwartz said...

It doesn't have a cockpit voice recorded ("black box") because it wasn't flying part 121 (scheduled airline) traffic. C'mon, you're usually smarter than that. Stop trying to sound spooky.

See also Joesharkey.com said...

Actually, I didn't know part 135s (charter, assuming that is what it was) weren't required to have a black box. Thank you for pointing it out.