Airline Excluded From NTSB Probe
American Airlines will not be allowed to participate in the investigation of last week's runway-overrun incident in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the NTSB said on Friday. The safety board said airline technicians violated standard procedures when they downloaded information from the digital flight data recorder after it was removed from the incident aircraft, a 757. "Although a thorough examination by our investigators determined that no information from the DFDR was missing or altered in any way, the breach of protocol by American Airlines personnel violates the Safety Board's standards of conduct for any organization granted party status in an NTSB investigation," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "We have revoked the party status of American Airlines and excused them from further participation in this incident investigation."
The NTSB said American employees removed the cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder from the 757 and flew them to Tulsa, Okla., where technicians downloaded information from the DFDR. The NTSB said it is common in incident investigations for the airline involved to transport the recorders on their own aircraft, to get them to NTSB labs in Washington. D.C., as quickly as possible. The airline is instructed to transport the recorders without delay and without accessing the information contained within them by any means. "This practice has worked efficiently and without complication for more than 40 years," the NTSB said. The airline said a full review will be undertaken "to ensure that such an occurrence is not repeated," according to the NTSB. American Airlines Flight 2253, a B-757-200 inbound from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, ran off the end of Runway 19 in snowy conditions while landing at Jackson Hole Airport, at about 11:38 a.m. local time on Dec. 29. No injuries were reported among the 181 passengers and crew on board. The incident was partially recorded on video by a passenger and posted on YouTube.