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Lethal 2015 Plane Crash Due to Pilot, Company Failures

Safety official says the charter company was "infested with sloppiness"

After a full investigation of the 2015 business jet crash in Akron, Ohio, that killed nine on board, federal investigators say there was a "litany of failures" that led to the fatal accident. The plane crashed two miles short of the Akron airport's runway while returning from a flight to Dayton.

The report, released last month by the National Transportation Safety Board, found a long list of issues with the on-demand charter flight company, Execuflight. The pilots hadn't followed checklists and had violated company landing procedures before the deadly crash on Nov. 10 of last year. Both pilots and seven passengers died.

Pilot issues

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said that Execuflight was "infested with sloppiness" all the way through the company, from the pilots to the corporate offices. The company also failed to fully check the backgrounds of the pilots, both of whom had been fired from their previous jobs for training issues. The investigators also found one captain was given a passing grade by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector even though he failed a test.

Safety board member Earl Weener said the "cavalier attitude" Execuflight had toward pilot training likely contributed to the crash. Both pilots were hired by Execuflight in June of 2015. Captain Mosquera was fired by his previous employer for not going to mandatory flight training. First officer Marchese was terminated by his last company for "significant performance deficiencies" during a flight simulator training session.

The flight's failure

When the plane was close to landing, it descended twice as fast as it should have, above Execuflight's guidelines, and then lost too much airspeed to maintain level flight. The captain had warned the co-pilot about his steep decent, according to the cockpit recorder transcript. Still, the captain didn't take the controls from the first officer. According to company guidelines, these speed and altitude issues should have led the pilots to abort the landing.

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