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NTSB Rules Pilot Error In Roush Oshkosh Crash

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NASCAR team owner and AirVenture regular Jack Roush says he accepts the findings of the NTSB report (PDF) released Friday that blamed him for the crash of his Hawker Beechcraft 390 business jet at AirVenture 2010. But Roush also told The Sporting News the NTSB could have taken into account the circumstances that led to him stalling the aircraft and crashing it on the infield by Runway 18R during the show on July 27, 2010. "It was a very sad day in my life when I crashed that airplane," Roush was quoted as saying. "I'm glad to have closure now. I accept the findings. There are some omissions. I wish they had been more complete in the description of the things that were happening in the congested airspace that I was presented there in Oshkosh. They didn't do that, so that's a moot point." The NTSB found that Roush didn't properly execute the go-around he initiated when he thought his aircraft was in conflict with a Piper Cub that had just been cleared to take off on the same runway that he was approaching. The board lists the probable cause as "the pilot's decision not to advance the engines to takeoff power during the go-around, as stipulated by the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude." As we reported on the day of the accident and in the accompanying ATC recording, Roush queried controllers about the potential conflict with the Cub.

According to the NTSB report, Roush wasn't monitoring the departure frequency and didn't hear the takeoff clearance for the Cub, which called for an offset departure to get the slower aircraft clear of the runway. Roush said he saw the Cub as he turned base and overshot the centerline while setting up for landing. He told investigators he decided to go around. He advanced the throttles about a third of the way while looking for conflicting traffic. The stick shaker started at the same time the right wing dipped and the aircraft pancaked onto the grass to the right of the runway. Roush suffered severe facial injuries that resulted in the loss of an eye. His passenger was only slightly hurt.

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