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NTSB releases update on investigation of charter jet crash in Aspen, Colorado
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 NTSB releases update on investigation of charter jet crash in Aspen, Colorado

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 channels.
  • 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 controller.
  • 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 affirmatively.
  • 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.

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Contact: NTSB Media Relations
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594