Plane crash investigations can be both lengthy and complicated, especially in cases where all passengers and crew lose their lives. And even when black box information is available, it may not tell the whole story.
Although the accident is still under investigation and a cause hasn't been determined, a fatal crash in late 2015 seems to have involved errors made by both pilots. Moreover, information revealed about the pilots' professional histories could potentially leave their employer liable for the crash.
In November 2015, a charter plane was flying from South Florida into Akron, Ohio carrying seven passengers and two pilots. The plane never reached the airport. Instead it crashed into a small apartment building in Akron, killing all nine people aboard.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a public docket that included 1,100 pages of information about the accident. Here are some key pieces of information that the NTSB has so far revealed:
- No mechanical issues have been detected
- Shortly before the crash, the pilots can be heard in a panicked disagreement about the speed and angle of descent
- The pilots were flying for a private company called ExecuFlight
- Both pilots had been hired by Execuflight less than 60 days after each had been fired by other companies for failing to stay current on flight training
It is that last detail that could significantly impact the company's liability for the fatal crash. It seems irresponsible and negligent to hire two pilots who had recently been fired by other companies for reasons directly related to job performance.
It will likely take many more months for NTSB to complete its investigation into the crash. But in the meantime, the families of crash victims may be considering their legal options.