NTSB Releases Report on Deadly Crash; Pilots Disagreed on Descent Speed

Markus Eigenheer via Wikimedia Commons
The Hawker 125-700 that crashed last year in Akron took the lives of nine people. Since the November tragedy, the NTSB has been working on a report on the details.

That report has been released, though it doesn't offer what they believe caused the crash exactly, but it does contain some new details. What we do know is that the pilots disagreed over their rate of descent in the final moments before the crash.

Also notable is that the pilot allowed his co-pilot to fly with passengers aboard. Why's that notable? Normally that situation only occurs when no one else is aboard.

Based on eyewitness reports, the plane clipped electrical wires before hurdling into apartment buildings on Mogodore Road in Akron on November 10. No one was inside the apartment complex at the time of the crash, but everyone onboard was killed. The passengers, Diana Suriel, Thomas Virgin, Nick Weaver, Jared Weiner, Diane Smoot, Ori Rom and Gary Shapiro were employees of Pibb Enterprises in Boca Raton, Florida, a real estate company. The pilots, Oscar Chavez and Renato Marchese were also based in Florida.

Here is a transcript of the conversation between the pilots during their descent (HOT 1 is the pilot, HOT 2 is the co-pilot):

14:48:44.6 HOT-1 you need to (look). you need to. I mean we were-we were flying like (one thirty nine). nine degrees pitch up. (Editor’s note: 139 is speed in knots)
14:48:50.1 HOT-2 yeah.
14:48:51.6 HOT-2 ** speed is one seventy **.
14:48:55.7 HOT-1 ** (flaps) ** I know but **.
14:49:09.0 HOT-2 we should (uh)—
14:49:13.6 CAM [sound of decreased background noise, similar to decrease in airspeed]
14:49:17.7 HOT-? ***.
14:49:20.4 HOT-1 *** you’re going one forty ***—.
14:49:22.9 APR-AKR Zipline fifteen twenty six I got the cancellation here. and you’re ah four miles from the outer compass locator. maintain three thousand until established on the localizer *. cleared localizer two five approach *. (Editor’s note: Zipline 1526 is the number for the jet.)
14:49:33.3 RDO-1 (cleared to) localizer two five. (maintain **). Zipline one five two six. **.
14:49:40.4 APR-AKR roger.
14:49:41.3 HOT-1 look you’re going one twenty. you can’t keep decreasing your speed **—
14:49:42.7 APR-AKR [unintelligible]
14:49:45.3 HOT-2 no. one tw—. how do you get one twenty? [said with emphasis]
14:49:47.1 HOT-2 ** one twenty five **.
14:49:48.9 HOT-1 v-ref plus (fifteen). (Editor’s note: v-ref is the landing reference speed moments before touchdown)
14:49:50.9 HOT-2 (which) is the approach speed.
14:49:53.0 HOT-1 you’ve (still) got. flaps to go. *
14:49:54.9 HOT-2 and when you put them—
14:49:56.1 HOT-1 that’s what I’m saying. if you keep decreasing your speed—.
14:50:00.3 HOT-2 but why? 14:50:02.1 HOT-1 * because we gonna stall. I don’t want to sta—
14:50:03.9 HOT-2 how do you—
14:50:05.1 HOT-1 (but in) I-M-C.
14:50:12.5 HOT-1 alright. after Akron. we are down to.
14:50:16.2 HOT-2 minimums.
14:50:17.0 HOT-1 fifteen hundred.
14:50:21.0 HOT-? ***—.
14:50:21.6 APR-AKR Zipline fifteen twenty six change to advisory frequency approved. report cancelling I-F-R in the air on this frequency. or on the ground via remote.
14:50:29.7 RDO-1 (we’ll change on to the advisory frequency) ***.
14:50:35.8 HOT-? ***.
14:50:39.8 RDO-1 Akron. Akron traffic. ah Zipline fifteen twenty (six) is a Hawker jet. on the localizer two five we are (Akron position). **.
14:50:50.8 HOT-? (one) mile.
14:50:53.9 AC-91S hey guys. ah we just landed on the loc. and uh broke out right at minimums (right at a) mile.
14:50:58.9 RDO-1 appreciate it.
14:51:00.9 HOT-2 (four) miles. full flaps.
14:51:06.7 HOT-1 gear down. before landing. three lights. one. and.
14:51:13.6 CAM [sound of decreased background sound, similar to power reduction]
14:51:14.4 HOT-1 (are) we going down to.
14:51:15.7 HOT-2 (to).
14:51:17.1 HOT-1 *.
14:51:17.4 CAM [sound of thunk]
14:51:18.2 HOT-2 **.
14:51:25.4 HOT-1 *** speed ***.
14:51:31.3 HOT-2 alright we go to minimums (@).
14:51:32.9 HOT-1 alright.
14:51:36.3 HOT-2 can you check. can you check (if I got) (everything). (ignition).
14:51:39.6 HOT-1 everything is (all set).
14:51:41.2 HOT-1 standby. yaw damper. autopilot. (eh).
14:51:43.9 HOT-1 main air valves.
14:51:44.7 HOT-2 *.
14:51:45.2 HOT-1 I’ll take care of them.
14:51:46.7 HOT-2 (alright). 14:51:49.4 HOT-1 v-ref. (localizer).
14:51:56.6 HOT-1 on localizer. you’re diving. you’re diving. don’t dive. two thousand feet per minute buddy... [said with emphasis]
14:52:01.8 HOT-2 yeah.
14:52:02.5 HOT-1 ...two thousand feet per minu— don’t go two thousand feet per minute. [said with emphasis]
14:52:05.1 HOT-1 you’re ** (me there).
14:52:06.4 HOT-1 oh don’t.
14:52:07.1 HOT-2 yeah.
14:52:07.3 HOT-1 don’t go two thousand feet per minute.
14:52:10.2 HOT-1 when you are fifteen hundred feet above the ground. or minimums.
14:52:15.2 CAM [sound of cyclical sound, similar to windshield wipers; continues until end of recording]
14:52:17.0 HOT-1 ground.
14:52:20.5 HOT-1 keep going.
14:52:22.1 HOT-1 one point one is for the missed approach.
14:52:27.3 HOT-1 okay level off guy. [spoken rapidly]
14:52:27.4 CAM [sound of rattle, similar to stick shaker]
14:52:28.3 HOT-2 got it.
14:52:30.1 CAM [sound of rattle, similar to stick shaker]
14:52:31.3 HOT-1 oh #. (focus). [spoken loudly, rapidly]
14:52:32.8 GPWS pull up. (Editor’s note: GPWS is the computerized ground proximity warning.)
14:52:33.6 HOT-1andor2 oh oh oh oh. [said with emphasis]
14:52:34.7 HOT [sound of thunk, similar to impact]
14:52:35.0 HOT [sound of squeal, similar to tape recording electronic artifact]

The plane was only minutes away from landing at Akron Fulton International Airport when it crashed.

A widower of one of the crash victims has since filed a lawsuit citing negligence against the owner and operator of the plane.

(Hat Tip Ohio.com)

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