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Introduction / Summary

Crew Competent and Alert

No Ice Contamination Pre-Impact System Failures In-Flight Fire/Explosion Conclusion


CASB Minority Report

Crew Competent and Alert

Associates of the flight crew unanimously testified that all three members were above average in thoroughness and proficiency.

During the month before their heavy December schedule, all crew members had relatively light flying duties. (The captain, first officer, and flight engineer had 22, 15, and 22 non-flying days respectively in November.) On arrival at Gander, the crew had just completed a flight of 6 hours and 18 minutes after a 17-hour stopover.

The dispatcher and other personnel at Gander International Airport reported that crew members were cheerful, alert, and had carried out duties as expected. This assessment was supported by the Arrow Air dispatcher in Miami who had talked with the captain by telephone. Recorded communications with air traffic controllers indicate normal alert, professional behaviour on part of the crew.

The crew calculated the aircraft's take-off weight according to accepted procedures. Other Arrow Air pilots testified that, conditions permitting, they would increase the margin of safety by using take-off reference speeds appropriate to an aircraft a few per cent heavier than calculated.

We can not agree that the crew may have used take-off reference speed corresponding to a weight substantially below actual. To us, the post-crash location of the two remaining movable external "bugs" on the first officer's airspeed indicator yields no useful evidence regarding reference speeds. We put more faith in the internal, gear-driven bug on the captain's airspeed indicator which was "burned into position, corresponding to the target airspeed for the weight calculated by the crew. A horizontal stabilizer setting appropriate to the same weight makes our determination conclusive.

We found no basis for supposing that the crew's performance could have been affected by fatigue. In the absence of evidence of abnormal behaviour and in consequence of testimonials to the crew's professional competence, we conclude that no act or failure to act by any member of the crew contributed to this accident.

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