Aviation Safety Lessons from First Flight into a Special Use Airport – Episode 174
A flight instructor chose to have a pilot take his first flight in an airplane into a special use airport and the result was a different learning experience than planned. The aircraft experienced a hard landing that led to a fracture of the right wing spar.
Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia discuss this accident in Puerto Rico that involved a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft. The instructor pilot chose to take a new pilot on his very first flight with the airline to a small airport that had a very challenging approach.
The new pilot was a highly experienced 737 pilot who had no recent experience flying this aircraft model. The instructor allowed the new pilot to continue the approach even though the aircraft was about 100 feet above approach altitude shortly before landing.
The Flight Safety Detectives question the instructor pilot’s decision to choose this challenging approach for the transitioning pilot’s first flight with the operator as well as the decision to allow the landing to continue. Also discussed is the NTSB’s decision to not investigate or nor report key issues about events leading up to the crash, including the aircraft operator’s training and procedures.
- NTSB Aviation Investigation Final Report
- NTSB Airworthiness Factual Report
- NTSB Form 6120 Accident or Incident Report
- NTSB Docket Culebra pilot interview
- Operator Training Manual
- Aircraft operator CPX Airport Training Materials
- NTSB Public Docket
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