National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board today released the following updated
information on its investigation of the crash of a Raytheon (Beech) King Air
A100 airplane (N41BE) carrying Senator Paul Wellstone and seven others, on October
25, 2002, at Eveleth, Minnesota. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces
and fire; there were no survivors.
· Teardowns of the two engines at Pratt and Whitney of Canada facilities near Montreal and the two propellers at Hartzell company facilities in Ohio were conducted under NTSB supervision. Both the engines and propellers appear to have been operating at time of impact. No evidence of pre-impact engine or propeller failure was found.
· The pilot received two flight service weather briefings prior to the flight.
· Specialists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, are assisting the NTSB weather group in its efforts to more accurately define the icing conditions that existed along the accident flights route.
· Investigators have completed documenting the crews activities in the 72-hour period before the accident flight. Interviews with the Captains wife and the First Officers fiancée have been conducted. Employment, pilot and medical records are still being reviewed.
· Toxicological test reports on the Captain and First Officer provided by the FAAs Civil Aeronautical Medical Institute in Oklahoma City indicate no evidence of alcohol or drugs of abuse.
· The First Officers voice is heard on nearly all radio transmissions
with Air Traffic Control. Typically, the pilot working the radio is not the
· Next week, investigators are scheduled to begin aircraft performance evaluations using a flight simulator at a Flight Safety International facility in Wichita, Kansas. The simulator will provide an opportunity to study the approach profile of the accident flight. Additional simulations will be conducted to assess pilot activities and workload during the approach under existing visibility and cloud conditions.
· To date, a review of aircraft records has revealed no outstanding maintenance items.
· Tests have been conducted to evaluate the accuracy of the VOR/DME approach to runway 27 at Eveleth. The tests indicate that the signal accuracy of the VOR/DME is suitable for en route flight but was found slightly out of tolerance for conducting an instrument approach.
· All the working groups that were established to look at various aspects
of the accident continue with their respective tasks. Each NTSB group chairman
will prepare a factual report that will become available when the Safety Board
opens the public docket on the investigation.
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.