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Once Again Pilot Error - The NTSBs Favorite Accident Cause

by John M. White |

All of us who fly always are curious about and follow accident reports. After all, if we can figure out what the last guy did wrong, perhaps we can avoid the same fate. Having followed many accidents over a lot of years I can tell you that the NTSB almost always finds pilot error in any accident.

Truth be known, Hersch - you bust it you get blamed.Click on image to enlarge

However, in this case the true culprit is probably not the pilot, but the company he flew for. While the aircraft captained had trouble passing his check rides, both FAA and airline, he did finally complete the proper training and was qualified to fly the Q400 aircraft.

One fact uncovered was that the airline, Colgan, showed its pilots a video of an unusual type of icing that causes aircraft to plunge nose down into the ground. Now we have an aircraft with known icing and the stick pusher attempting to lower the nose of the aircraft while the captain pulls the nose upward.  The result: clearly the aircraft stalled close to the ground.

Once again the only people who really know what happened aren't with us any more. And the lives they were entrusted with aren't either. A very sad affair.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


If a woman wants to fly, first of all she must, of course, abandon skirts and don a knickerbocker uniform.

— Harriet Quimby, first lady in the U.S. to receive a pilots license, 1911.

ps: This blog will move to the coming weekend.


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