(Adds more details, flight operator comments)
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON Oct 18 A federal safety board on
Tuesday blamed a Florida-based air charter company and its
flight crew for the crash of a Hawker 700 business jet that
killed nine passengers and crew when it plowed into an apartment
building last year.
But the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board also said
the Federal Aviation Administration had played a role in the
crash, failing to provide adequate oversight of pilot training
and flight operations at ExecuFlight LLC, the charter company
that operated the business jet.
The captain and first officer aboard the aircraft, both of
whom had been fired by previous employers before being hired by
ExecuFlight, mismanaged the approach to Akron airport in Ohio
and deviated from safety standards, as the jet stalled before
crashing 1.8 miles from the airport runway, the NTSB said.
The crash killed seven employees and executives at
Florida-based Pebb Enterprises, a real estate firm, and the two
ExecuFlight did not immediately respond to requests for
comment. The company said in an Oct. 4 letter to the NTSB that
it "had in place a robust safety culture," sent pilots to an
industry-leading training center and had appropriate operating
The board said the captain failed to get adequate rest
before the flight that departed from nearby Dayton and left the
landing to the first officer. Even though the first officer
"placed the airplane in danger," the pilot never took control of
the plane, the NTSB said.
ExecuFlight suggested in its Oct. 4 letter that air traffic
control errors and inadequate air traffic control communication
to the flight crew had played a role in the crash.
The NTSB said the pilot had been fired from his most recent
previous employer for failure to attend training, while the
first officer was fired for "significant performance
deficiencies." The NTSB said "no follow up" was made by
ExecuFlight to evaluate why they were let go.
ExecuFlight told NTSB it "thoroughly interviewed and
investigated" both before hiring them.
The NTSB made a number of recommendations to the FAA,
calling for changes in policy to address the 2015 ExecuFlight
crash. The FAA said in a statement it "will carefully review the
NTSB's recommendations and respond within 90 days."
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and