Pilots Not Properly Rated In Fatal Falcon 50 Accident

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Image: Greenville Police Department

Image: Greenville Police Department

Neither pilot in the cockpit of a Falcon 50 that crashed in Greenville, South Carolina, last week was rated to fly the aircraft as pilot in command, according to the preliminary report issued by the NTSB on Thursday. The report states that the pilot in the left seat “held an ATP certificate with a type rating for the Falcon 50 with a limitation for second-in-command only.” He was type rated in the Learjet and Westwind and had 11,650 flight hours. The pilot in the right seat “held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land.”

Both pilots were killed and the two passengers onboard sustained serious injuries when the aircraft slid off of the runway and over a 50-foot embankment at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) after landing. Airport security video obtained by the NTSB verified earlier eyewitness reports that the aircraft appeared to make a normal touchdown and confirmed that the thrust reverser and the airbrakes were deployed. The report (PDF) notes that there was an "INOP" placard next to the braking anti-skid switch. The aircraft was operated by Air American Flight Services Inc.

The NTSB’s investigation into the accident is ongoing. The Board’s final report, which will include its findings on the probable cause of the accident, is expected to be published in 12 to 18 months.

Comments (6)

I find this particularly disturbing. An ATP with 11,650 hours, flying a plane that he was not type rated for, accompanied by a pilot who technically was totally unqualified to operate said plane. Particularly in light of an article written here last week addressing this very issue.
I imagine that sorting out the insurance issues will be quite messy.

Posted by: Richard Katz | October 6, 2018 7:55 AM    Report this comment

Unfortunately, these high profile accidents with obvious regulatory violations are the things that prompt the FAA and Congress to "do something". It conveys the message that pilots cannot be trusted to act responsibly, so they must come up with even more draconian regulations to "protect" the flying public from all of us. Case in point: The Colgan Air crash that brought about the nonsensical 1,500 hour rule. At least these two latest accidents did not involve commercial operations and paying passengers. Still tragic all around.

Posted by: John McNamee | October 6, 2018 11:35 AM    Report this comment

How crazy is that.. Pilots know if their certified for the equipment or not.. What were they thinking? Who allowed them to do this knowing that they are not properly trained..? And, I'm going out on a limb here, when I say I think the insurance is null and void..

Good head work..

Posted by: Tom O'Toole | October 6, 2018 11:18 PM    Report this comment

When pilots take lease or rental possession of ANY aircraft, doesn't someone who lets it go
look at pilot credentials or qualifications first, to see if they are even qualified to fly that particular
airplane? I would assume so. Someone at the dispatch or flight release level dropped the ball here.

Anticipate a cascading effect in the aftermath not only in the aircraft insurance, leasing and rental business, but in how airplanes are chartered, leased and rented to pilots of any class of licensure.

It sounds like a real legal mess is coming......

Posted by: David Freed | October 7, 2018 2:24 PM    Report this comment

In pt135 operations it is called "operational control", ops spec A08. This rule came about after the Challenger accident in Teterboro when that plane overran the runway on an aborted takeoff attempt due to out of CG condition ( unable to rotate, nose heavy). But like any other rule the FAA passes it only affects those who actually follow it, not those who choose to ignore the regs. Like many other regulations this depends on trusting pilots and operators to follow them. Short of putting an armed guard at every airplane door, there is not much that can be done to prevent those who ignore the rules prior to doing something stupid (just like this accident). Unfortunately the unwitting public gets caught in the middle, sometimes getting hurt or killed.

Posted by: matthew wagner | October 7, 2018 4:32 PM    Report this comment

From the NTSB report:
Air traffic control personnel at GMU reported that the airplane touched down "normally" at a normal touchdown point on runway. They saw the airplane's sole thrust reverser on the center (No. 2) engine deploy; the controllers then watched as the airplane "did not decelerate" as it continued down the runway. An airport security video captured the airplane's touchdown and confirmed that the No. 2 thrust reverser and the airbrakes were deployed. The video also showed the airplane as it continued down to the end of the runway and then went over an embankment.
First responders reported that all three engines were operating at full power for at least 20 minutes after the accident with, one engine running until about 40 minutes after the accident.
Is it really that simple? Full power from two engines? That would overwhelm the thrust reverser on the third engine. That certainly would explain the failure to stop the airplane. One-mile runway, not much room for error.

Posted by: John Schubert | October 9, 2018 9:10 AM    Report this comment

Add your comments

Log In

You must be logged in to comment

Forgot password?


Enter your information below to begin your FREE registration