1 - FLASHBACK: US Senate Report: Whistleblower Retaliation Behind Hawaii Helicopter Crashes
AP: NTSB seeks flight instructor monitoring after deadly crash
2 - PILOT: … The pilot in the Hawaii crash, Jerome Renck. had failed three initial flight tests in his attempt to obtain a pilot certificate, instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate… Renck, a French national, was the company's only pilot at the time of the crash….
3 - OWNER: The plane was operated by Oahu Parachute Center, which lacked permits for skydiving flights, according to state records. The owner, George Rivera, received a permit in 2010 under a different company name for parachute repairs and rigging but not skydiving....
4 - MECHANIC: The NTSB previously said FAA records showed that Robert Seladis, a contract mechanic who worked on the plane, had his certificate revoked in 2005 after falsifying records on two planes. He regained his certificate in 2015. Seladis was interviewed a few days after the crash, then stopped talking to investigators, who were unable to get the plane's logbooks from him, the NTSB said....
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Inadequate Flight Training, Poorly Maintained Airplane, Insufficient Oversight, Contributed to Parachute Jump Flight Accident
News Release from NTSB, April 13, 2021
WASHINGTON (April 13, 2021) — The National Transportation Safety Board detailed in an accident report issued Tuesday the circumstances that led to the June 21, 2019, crash of a parachute jump flight that killed all 11 people on board.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot's aggressive takeoff maneuver, which led to an accelerated stall and a subsequent loss of control at an altitude too low for recovery. Safety issues found during this investigation were discussed at the March 23, 2021, public board meeting on Part 91 revenue passenger-carrying operations.
The twin-engine Beech King Air 65-A90 airplane, which was operated by Oahu Parachute Center, crashed adjacent to the runway shortly after departing Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia, Hawaii, with one pilot and 10 passengers aboard.
(In this photo, taken on June 23, 2019, NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Eliott Simpson and Board Member Jennifer Homendy examine wreckage at the scene of the Mokuleia, Hawaii, June 21, 2019, crash of a Beech 65-A90. The airplane crashed shortly after departing Dillingham Airfield for a parachute jump flight. NTSB photo by Eric Weiss.)
The airplane was involved in a stall/spin accident in 2016 during a parachute jump flight in California while it was operated by another company and flown by another pilot. Although no one was injured during the aerodynamic stall and subsequent series of spins, the plane shed parts and a wing was twisted during the inflight recovery.
During the investigation of the June 2019 crash, NTSB investigators discovered the twisted left wing, from the 2016 incident, was not repaired, leaving the airplane in an unairworthy condition. The NTSB said the damage reduced the left wing's stall margin and could cause the airplane to roll left in certain flight conditions. The NTSB said the failure of Oahu Parachute Center and its contract mechanic to maintain the airplane in an airworthy condition contributed to the accident.
Investigators found the pilot's flight instructor provided substandard initial instruction, and that Oahu Parachute Center provided insufficient training in the operation of the airplane. Although the pilot was properly certificated to fly the accident airplane, investigators said his lack of adequate training and experience in the handling qualities of the airplane in particular flight conditions contributed to the accident. The NTSB detailed these deficiencies in the report and issued a series of safety recommendations in January to address this safety issue.
The NTSB noted the Federal Aviation Administration did perform inspections of Oahu Parachute Center, but those inspections, which failed to identify the damaged left wing of the accident airplane, were insufficient to ensure the safety of that commercial passenger-carrying operation.
The FAA's insufficient regulatory framework for overseeing parachute jump operations was discussed in the NTSB's report, Enhance Safety of Revenue Passenger-Carrying Operations Conducted Under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. In that report, the NTSB issued a recommendation to the FAA to develop a new regulatory framework for these operations, which include parachute jump flights.
The full accident report, Collision with Terrain During Takeoff of Parachute Jump Flight, Beech King Air 65-A90, Mokuleia, Hawaii, June 21, 2019, is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xHbt8.
Enhance Safety of Revenue Passenger-Carrying Operations Conducted Under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xHbMj.
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Accident Involving Inadequately Trained Pilot Leads to Call for Better Monitoring of Flight Instructors
News Release from NTSB, January 7, 2021
WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2021) — Citing inadequate training of a pilot whose plane crash resulted in 11 deaths, the National Transportation Safety Board called on the Federal Aviation Administration Thursday to better monitor the effectiveness of flight instructors.
Three safety recommendations have been issued during the NTSB’s ongoing investigation of the June 21, 2019, Mokuleia, Hawaii, crash of an airplane on a parachute jump flight. The pilot and all 10 passengers died in the crash.
In the safety recommendation report, the NTSB referenced the FAA’s ‘Aviation Instructor’s Handbook,’ which states the goal of a flight instructor is “to teach each learner in such a way that he or she will become a competent pilot.” The NTSB said that in regard to the Mokuleia accident pilot, “the flight instructor did not achieve that goal.”
The NTSB found the Mokuleia accident pilot had failed three initial flight tests in his attempts to obtain his private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and commercial pilot certificate after receiving instruction from a single instructor. The pilot subsequently passed each flight test.
The Mokuleia accident pilot was not alone in his failed attempts; the pass rate for other students taught by the same flight instructor was 59 percent (for the two-year period ending in April 2020). FAA data show the average national pass rate for students of all flight instructors is 80 percent. The NTSB said substandard student pass rates may be indicative of “a flight instructor who does not effectively teach the necessary skills associated with pilot certificates and ratings.
The NTSB asked the FAA to develop a system to automatically alert its inspectors of flight instructors whose student pass rates fall below 80 percent. Although a tracking system does exist to monitor pass rates, there currently is no automatic notification to an FAA inspector when a pass rate falls below the FAA-established rate of 80 percent and becomes substandard.
The FAA’s stated practices on flight instructor surveillance are that substandard pass rates are indicative of instruction that needs to be more closely monitored so the FAA inspector can determine whether the instructor is providing adequate flight training. The NTSB found, however, that even with the substandard student pass rate, the Mokuleia accident pilot’s flight instructor was not receiving appropriate additional scrutiny.
The NTSB also recommended that until a system that generates an automatic notification of flight instructor substandard pass rates is implemented, FAA inspectors should review flight instructors’ pass rates on an ongoing basis to identify any in need of closer monitoring.
The NTSB also asked the FAA to include substandard student pass rates as one of the criteria necessitating additional surveillance of a flight instructor.
The complete four-page safety recommendation report is available at https://go.usa.gov/xARUu.
The analysis, probable cause and additional findings associated with the Mokuleia accident will be released when that investigation is completed. More information, including links to the preliminary report and the accident docket, is available at https://go.usa.gov/xAXfX.
AVWeb: NTSB To FAA: Watch Those CFIs
FG: NTSB calls for more scrutiny of flight instructors
KHON: NTSB calls for better monitoring of flight instructors, says Mokuleia plane crash pilot was “inadequately trained”
AP: Aggressive takeoff caused 2019 skydiving plane crash at Dillingham Airfield that killed 11