NTSB Press Release
National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
NTSB RELEASES UPDATE ON INVESTIGATION OF CHARTER JET CRASH IN ASPEN, COLORADO
April 6, 2001
The National Transportation Safety Board today released an update of its investigation
into the March 29 crash of a chartered Gulfstream III (N303GA) in Aspen, Colorado
that killed all 18 persons aboard.
The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) Group convened Tuesday April 3, 2001 and finished
on Wednesday April 4. A representative from each of the following parties participated
in the group activity: AVJet, Gulfstream and the FAA. A transcript will be available
at a later date.
The following bullets are derived from that group's activities and from radio
communications between the aircrew and air traffic controllers.
- The CVR from N303GA was a Fairchild A100A recorder. The continuous recording
was 31 minutes and 42 seconds in duration.
- Although, the CVR showed signs of structural damage, the tape was intact
within the crash-protected case.
- The CVR recording consisted of 3 channels of good audio quality. The aircraft
appeared to have had hot mics, as each of the two pilot station audios was
distinctly recorded on separate channels. The third channel contained audio
information from the cockpit area microphone.
- Shortly after the recording began, the Denver Center air traffic controller
cleared N303GA direct to PITMN intersection.
- Aspen airport weather information was recorded on one of the pilot's audio
- After N303GA was transferred to the Aspen approach controller, the aircraft
was given vectors to intercept the final approach course for the VOR/DME C
approach into the Aspen airport.
- While on the final approach course, N303GA was switched to the Aspen tower
- The crew of N303GA asked the tower if the lights were all the way up; the
tower responded that they were, and on high.
- When the tower asked N303GA if they had the runway in sight, the crew responded
- At about 32 seconds before the end of the CVR recording an electronic system
voice called altitude at 1000 feet, and continued in increments of 100 feet.
- At approximately twelve seconds prior to the end of the recording an electronic
voice called "sink rate".
- Shortly after the 200-foot call out, there was an electronic voice call
out of "bank angle" and the recording ended.
- The recording did not appear to contain evidence of aircraft malfunction.
The Safety Board's investigation continues.
NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.