Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
Closing Remarks at
Board Meeting, April 26, 2011
Aircraft Accident Report
Crash During Approach to Landing, Empire Airlines Flight 8284,

Avions de Transport Regional Aerospatiale Alenia ATR 42 320, N902FX,
Lubbock, TX - January 27, 2009

I want to thank my fellow Board members for their participation today.

In closing, I'd like to recognize the staff of the Safety Board who investigated this accident and developed this excellent report; in particular, the staff from the Offices of Aviation Safety and Research and Engineering. All of you deserve recognition for your hard work and tireless commitment to aviation safety. Leah Yeager, and a team including many outstanding regional investigators produced an excellent public hearing in 2009 and a very thorough final report. Alice Park and Christy Spangler, thank you for a very helpful animation.

The safety issues we identified today are not new to the Safety Board. In my seven years at the NTSB we have investigated numerous accidents and incidents where the same issues have surfaced.

We know that maintaining the correct airspeed on approach, particularly in icing conditions is critical to the safety of the flight – whether transporting cargo or passengers.

We also know that flight crews can find themselves in dynamic situations, like the one in this accident, where they have to make rapid decisions often within seconds. These high-workload and high stress situations often manifest at the end of long days, long nights or in bad weather. That is why following established procedures and using good crew resource management is critical.

The frustration in this investigation is that the deficiencies we have identified today have been discussed in previous investigations.

History will repeat itself if nobody listens. The next time it may not end with a crew that walks away from a plane load of cargo.

We stand adjourned.