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Aviation News Talk podcast

Aug 17, 2023

Max talks about the July 2021 crash of a Challenger Jet that was doing a circling approach at the Truckee, CA airport. The NTSB just released its final report on that accident, And there’s a lot that GA pilots can learn from this accident.

The NTSB faulted the first officer’s improper decision to attempt to salvage an unstabilized approach by executing a steep left turn to realign the airplane with the runway centerline, and the captain’s failure to intervene after recognizing the FO’s erroneous action. Both pilots both ignored stall protection system warnings, which resulted in a left-wing stall and an impact with terrain. The NTSB also cited the flight crew’s self-induced pressure to perform and poor crew resource management, which degraded their decision-making.

The flight was the first pairing of this crew with the operator. The captain, who had signed an employment contract with the operator, but was not yet an employee at the time of the accident. The first officer was not the accident operator’s employee at the time of the accident and had been hired as a contract pilot for the accident flight.

The pilots calculated that runway 20 was too short for the landing distance required by the airplane at its expected landing weight. Instead of making a request to ATC for the straight-in approach to runway 11 (the longer runway), the captain told the FO they could take the runway 20 approach and circle to land on runway 11. There is a straight-in RNAV (GPS) approach to runway 11, but the pilots didn’t request it.

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