The NTSB is usually very good about putting together the pieces of what happened in an accident and identifying shortcomings in pilot performance that contributed to the accident scenario. What’s often missing, however, is a clear understanding of why the pilot did what he or she did or didn’t do, and a clear discussion of how other pilots can avoid repeating the behavior. That brings us to the Safety Board’s recently wrapped-up investigation into the crash of Air Cargo Carriers (ACC) flight 1260 at Charleston, West Virginia, on May 5, 2017.
The Shorts SD3-30, a multi-engine high-wing turboprop-powered commercial utility plane, was landing on Runway 5 at Charleston Yeager International Airport (KCRW) at about 6:51 a.m. at the end of a Part 135 scheduled cargo flight from Louisville International Airport, Louisville, Kentucky. Evidence indicated the airplane impacted the Runway 5 centerline with a 22-degrees left bank and in a 5-degrees nose down attitude. The left wingtip hit the pavement first. Then the left main landing gear hit, and so did the left propeller. The fuselage hit, and the left wing broke off. The airplane slid off the runway and went down a hill. The wreckage came to rest 85 feet below runway elevation and about 380 feet left of the runway centerline. The cockpit was crushed, and there was other severe damage. The captain and first officer, who were the only occupants, were killed.