Washington - National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) inspectors consider that the cause of the deadly Atlas Air crash might be pilot error, not bad weather. On February 23, a Boeing 767-300 from Atlas Air operating on behalf of Amazon Air crashed into Trinity Bay while landing at George Bush Airport in Houston, United States.
According to the preliminary data retrieved from the Flight Data Recorder, the engines of the aircraft were increased to maximum thrust by the crew when the aircraft entered turbulence, after which the AOA (Attack of Angle) of the aircraft slightly went up.
The crew then pushed the nose of the plane 49-degree down, which caused the aircraft to start a sharp dive. The crew were able to pull the plane up to a 20-degree angle to stop the steep decent, but in the last 18 seconds before the crash the crew lost control of the 767, which accelerated to 495 mph.
An NTSB spokesman told The Associated Press that the Board is still examining why the plane had such a sharp change in the Attack of Angle.
"Obviously, going 49 degrees nose down is beyond a radical move, that's not something an airplane should be doing, especially at that altitude." Todd Curtis, a former Boeing safety engineer, told The Associated Press.
It would take more than a year to determine the cause of the crash, according to Robert Sumwalt, the chairman at the NTSB.