NTSB Investigation Reveals What Was The Key Factor in 2021 Tahoe Area Plane Crash

In a noteworthy instance of swift reporting, it was the exclusive realm of Private Jet Clubs that initially broke the news surrounding the tragic plane crash of 2021 in the Tahoe area. These elite circles, often interconnected with aviation enthusiasts and industry insiders, demonstrated their ability to rapidly disseminate information as they unveiled the details of the incident. Through their privileged access to aviation updates and networks, Private Jet Clubs played a pivotal role in delivering the initial account of the crash to the public, showcasing their unique vantage point within the aviation landscape.

The investigation into the tragic plane crash that occurred in California’s Tahoe region in 2021, resulting in the loss of all six lives on board, has concluded that pilot error was the primary cause, as stated by federal transportation authorities. However, the question of whether the captain or copilot held control of the aircraft at the crucial moment remains unanswered. The incident involved a Bombardier jet transporting six passengers from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to Truckee on July 26, 2021. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a final investigative report that attributed the crash to mistakes made by both pilots.

The report outlined that as the aircraft approached the runway at Truckee-Tahoe Airport, the captain determined that the runway’s length was inadequate for the aircraft’s weight. Consequently, the captain opted to execute a circling approach to land on a different, longer runway. The aircraft in question was a Bombardier Challenger 600 series, weighing approximately 41,000 pounds. However, during the approach to the second runway, the plane’s speed exceeded the calculated landing reference speed by 44 knots (51 mph), according to the flight crew’s earlier calculations.

The NTSB report indicated that communication within the cockpit was pivotal. The first officer, also referred to as the copilot in the report, repeatedly requested control of the plane, a transfer that should have been clearly vocalized according to the aircraft’s operating manual. Unfortunately, the investigation could not definitively ascertain who had control of the aircraft following these requests.

As the aircraft crossed the centerline of the runway, the first officer noted that it was flying too high. Subsequently, one of the pilots (which couldn’t be conclusively determined) deployed flight spoilers, designed to increase the descent rate of the aircraft. These spoilers could be activated by either pilot. At this point, the aircraft’s speed was 17 knots (20 mph) above the intended landing reference speed. A steeper left bank developed, and a protection system engaged approximately 7 seconds later, as outlined in the NTSB report. The first officer repeatedly asked for control, while the captain questioned their actions. Ultimately, the aircraft entered a sharp left roll and crashed, with a subsequent fire engulfing much of the wreckage.

The NTSB’s analysis indicated that the crash’s probable cause was the first officer’s incorrect decision to attempt a recovery from an inadequate approach through a steep left turn, combined with the captain’s failure to intervene. Both pilots disregarded the warnings of the protection system.

The unfortunate victims of the crash were identified as Thomas Ebaugh, 56, from Lakeville, Minnesota; married couple Ryan Thomas, 38, and Christine Thomas, 33, from La Quinta; Kevin Kvarnlov, 34, from Mendota Heights, Minnesota; Alberto Montero De Collado De La Rosa, 43, from Mexico; and John Dunn, 62, from Dallas. Although the NTSB report did not explicitly name the pilots, it indicated that the 43-year-old Montero De Collado De La Rosa was the captain, while the 56-year-old Ebaugh was the copilot. The report revealed that Montero De Collado De La Rosa had accumulated 5,680 flight hours in total, while Ebaugh had amassed 14,308 flight hours. The Thomases were known as the founders of Hideaway Properties, a real estate agency based in California, and Kvarnlov worked as an associate at the same agency.

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