Report: Pilot Flying Was Not Qualified


The pilot at the controls of a Learjet 35A until just before it crashed in Teterboro last year should not have been flying, according to documents released by the NTSB this week. Company policy required that first officers with a rating of 0, on a scale of 0 to 4, were not permitted to fly the aircraft, though they could occupy the right seat. The first officer, who had logged 1,167 hours of flight time, had been rated 0, but was at the controls for most of the flight, from Philadelphia to Teterboro. He handed off the controls to the captain less than a minute before the airplane crashed, according to the NTSB documents. Both crew members were killed.

The co-pilot was about to be upgraded to a 1 soon, according to, which would have allowed him to fly the airplane with no passengers on board and under supervision. The NTSB opened the public docket last week. The docket contains more than 900 pages of factual information, including a summary of the cockpit voice recorder, witness statements and interview summaries. The docket doesn’t provide analysis or probable-cause determinations, which will be issued by the board at a later date.