NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


July 30, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct a public hearing next month as part of its ongoing investigation into the crash of an Emery Worldwide Airlines DC-8 cargo aircraft near Rancho Cordova, California.

The hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 22, at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 426 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. It is expected to last two days. NTSB Member John Goglia will chair the hearing.

Emery Worldwide Airlines flight 17, a Douglas DC-8-71 (N8079U), on a scheduled cargo flight from Sacramento, California to Dayton, Ohio, with three crew members aboard, crashed shortly after takeoff from Mather Field on February 16, 2000. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire; there were no survivors.

The major issues to be examined at the hearing center on contract maintenance and the associated oversight by airline and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel. There is also expected to be a discussion of cargo loading operations and oversight.

"This hearing is important," said Member Goglia, "because good maintenance is key to aviation safety. Issues of contract maintenance and oversight have arisen in the past in connection with passenger airliners. We need to ensure that the highest standards also are applied to maintaining the large and growing fleet of cargo aircraft in this country."

A Board of Inquiry, made up of senior Safety Board staff, and a technical panel of NTSB investigators will lead the questioning of witnesses, who also will be questioned by representatives of the following parties to the hearing: FAA, Boeing Corporation, Emery Worldwide Airlines, Tennessee Technical Services and Worldwide Flight Services. A witness list will be released on the first day of the hearing.

Information from the hearing will be used by the Board to prepare a final report on the Emery accident, including safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar accidents in the future.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



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.