Pilots Not Properly Rated In Fatal Falcon 50 Accident

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Image: Greenville Police Department

Image: Greenville Police Department

Neither pilot in the cockpit of a Falcon 50 that crashed in Greenville, South Carolina, last week was rated to fly the aircraft as pilot in command, according to the preliminary report issued by the NTSB on Thursday. The report states that the pilot in the left seat “held an ATP certificate with a type rating for the Falcon 50 with a limitation for second-in-command only.” He was type rated in the Learjet and Westwind and had 11,650 flight hours. The pilot in the right seat “held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land.”

Both pilots were killed and the two passengers onboard sustained serious injuries when the aircraft slid off of the runway and over a 50-foot embankment at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) after landing. Airport security video obtained by the NTSB verified earlier eyewitness reports that the aircraft appeared to make a normal touchdown and confirmed that the thrust reverser and the airbrakes were deployed. The report (PDF) notes that there was an "INOP" placard next to the braking anti-skid switch. The aircraft was operated by Air American Flight Services Inc.

The NTSB’s investigation into the accident is ongoing. The Board’s final report, which will include its findings on the probable cause of the accident, is expected to be published in 12 to 18 months.