19 May 2009

NTSB Hearings on the Buffalo Plane Crash

On May 12th, 2009, the NTSB began a three-day public hearing about its ongoing investigation into the fatal February 2009 crash of a Continental Connection airliner in Buffalo, NY. Among the issues that came up were the possible roles of crew fatigue and crew training in the accident. During the last day of the hearing, noted aviation consultant Mike Boyd and I sat down with host Dave Berns of the "State of Nevada" program on KNPR radio in Las Vegas.

KNPR Interview on 14 May 2009

Additional Information
NTSB Public Docket on the Investigation
Accident Details from AirSafe.com
Todd Curtis book Understanding Aviation Safety Data

Emirates A340 Accident Report Released

On 20 March 2009, an Emirates A340 aircraft, with 275 passengers and crew on board, was involved in a tail strike accident during takeoff from Melbourne, Australia. The aircraft suffered some damage, but there were no injuries to anyone on board. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) recently released preliminary findings that indicated that an incorrect weight had been used when making performance calculations prior to departure. The calculations were based on a takeoff weight that was 100 tons below the actual takeoff weight of the aircraft.

This is the first accident involving an Emirates A340. Previously, in 2004, there was an Emirates A340 incident involving a runway overrun in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What sets this preliminary report apart from most is that the ATSB releases substantially more information at this stage than most accident investigation authorities. While the NTSB sometimes releases this level of preliminary information for major accidents that have tremendous media attention, it has not provided that kind of detail for other kinds of accidents.

Below are links to an audio of the ATSB press conference about the release of this report, a summary of the accident, and other accident details.

Abstract of Preliminary Report

Media Release from 30 April 2009
Preliminary Accident Report
Audio of ATSB Briefing from 30 April 2009 (21:10)
Other A340 Plane Crashes
Other Emirates Safety Events