TAWS Turned Off Before Crash


The pilot of a Turbine Otter that crashed in Alaska in 2015, killing all nine aboard, had turned off the terrain awareness and warning system before the aircraft hit the side of a mountain near Ketchikan. The NTSB released the factual docket on the crash of the Promech Air crash, which occurred in marginal VFR conditions in Misty Fjords National Monument east of Ketchikan. The eight passengers were all cruise ship passengers on a sightseeing tour. Pilot Bryan Krill, 64, had, at some point in the trip, set the TAWS system to “Inhibit,” which was a common practice in the mountainous terrain to stop the system from going off frequently, according to the report. The crash was characterized by Clint Johnson, the NTSB’s chief investigator in Alaska, as controlled flight into terrain.

The NTSB said Krill had done two sightseeing trips that day while another carrier had cancelled its flights because of the weather. He was flying one of three aircraft on the tour. They were on their way back to Ketchikan at the time of the crash. Promech was taking part in the Medallion Foundation, a nonprofit accident avoidance group formed by the Alaska Air Carriers Association, that recognizes carriers for their efforts to prevent CFIT accidents.