Pilots in deadly 2018 illegal charter crash were unqualified

The Falcon 50 accident killed both pilots and seriously injured the two passengers after overrunning the runway in Greenville, South Carolina.

By Doug Gollan, June 29, 2020

According to a final report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), neither pilot flying the ill-fated Dassault Falcon 50 that overran the runway at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in September 2018 was qualified to operate the flight as a Part 135 charter.

The accident of N114TD killed both Air America Flight Services pilots and severely injured their two passengers.

The NTSB airport report said the Falcon 50 touched down normally and the airplane’s thrust reverser deployed but that the airplane continued down the runway without decelerating before overrunning the runway and impacting terrain.

Post-accident examination of the private jet’s brake system revealed discrepancies of the antiskid system that included a broken solder joint
on the left-side inboard transducer and a reversal of the wiring on the right-side outboard transducer.


The NTSB said it is likely that these discrepancies resulted in the normal braking system’s failure to function during the landing.

The flight, operating as a Part 135 charter, had originated at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) in Clearwater, Florida.

According to NTSB, during the approach to Greenville, the flight crew had difficulties understanding the navigation fixes. What’s more, the flight crew did not use any prelanding checklist.

Unqualified Pilots

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate and a type rating for the Dassault Falcon 50. However, it had a limitation for second-in-command privileges only.

The co-pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land. He did not hold any type ratings nor did he hold an instrument rating.

The ill-fated airplane had only recently returned to service, according to the final report.

An analysis of records showed required maintenance related to the aircraft’s braking system hadn’t been completed. A pilot who had completed four flights on N114TD reported brake system failure to the company’s director of maintenance.


The NTSB reported, “None of the available maintenance records indicated the brake system issue or showed maintenance actions that were performed to resolve the issue.”

NTSB attributed the cause of the crash to brake failure, failure to carry out scheduled maintenance, and maintenance record keeping. It also cited operator policies and procedures, and failures by the flight crew and flight dispatch.

Read the full report here.


Related Articles

Visit DG Amazing Experiences

Find the perfect solution for your private aviation needs

Make the right decision

If you want a program-by-program comparison of more than 250 products from more than 50 companies covering 65 points of differentiation and over 40,000 data points.