Cockpit Voice Recording Points to Engine Trouble in Fatal Dallas Airplane Crash
The crew of a small airplane that crashed near Dallas, Texas on Sunday were discussing an engine problem only seconds before the aircraft careened into a hangar at Addison Memorial Airport.
Dallas Airplane Crash Tragically Killed All 10 Aboard
The Beechcraft BE-350 King Air had just left the runway Sunday morning, when witnesses say it struggled to gain altitude, rolled to the left, and plummeted into the vacant hangar.
Eight passengers and two crew were aboard the St. Petersburg, Florida-bound plane. None survived the fiery crash.
So far, it’s not clear if the twin-engine aircraft was on a private flight or a charter event.
Crew Statements “Consistent with Confusion”
Personal-use airplanes aren’t required to have flight data recorders, so investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were counting on the cockpit voice recorder to provide some insight into the cause of Sunday’s crash.
It appears those hopes were realized.
According to NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg, the crew can be heard discussing engine trouble seconds before the plane went down.
“Crew comment regarding a problem with the left engine occurred about eight seconds before the end of the recording,” Landsberg said during a televised news conference on Tuesday.
Those comments were followed by statements “consistent with confusion.” Then three audible alerts were activated before the recording ended.
Pilot Had Extensive Flight Experience Before Dallas Crash
Investigators still don’t know why the airplane’s landing gear was down when it hit the hangar. Unfortunately, that aspect of the tragedy will likely remain a mystery, as the resulting fire and destruction have, in all probability, made any equipment analysis impossible.
Investigators did identify the pilot as a 71-year-old man from Fort Worth. According to the Star-Telegram, he had extensive flying experience and was rated for a dozen types of aircraft.
His co-pilot was 28-years old and also from Fort Worth. He held a first-class commercial pilots license.
Preliminary Report on Dallas Airplane Crash Expected Within Weeks
The plane belonged to EE Operations LLC, a company located just blocks from Addison Municipal Airport and connected to a family of four who died in the crash.
The NTSB is continuing to analyze the cockpit recording, as well as the aircraft’s maintenance records, crew records, and video taken by witnesses and Addison Municipal Airport surveillance cameras.
Landsberg indicated that a preliminary report on the Dallas airplane crash could be available within two weeks.
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