NTSB blames various factors for other accidents and fatal crashes linked to Key Lime Air, Independence Aviation

Problem Solvers

WASHINGTON (KDVR) — National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records show aircraft linked to Key Lime Air and Independence Aviation have been involved in fatal crashes in recent years.

The government’s Case Analysis and Reporting Online database, or CAROL, tracks aviation accidents and recommendations made by NTSB investigators. The NTSB is mandated to investigate incidents involving fatalities, serious bodily injury or substantial damage to an aircraft that was intended for flight.

The Problem Solvers found a 2015 fatal incident linked to a rental aircraft registered to and operated by Independence Aviation LLC in Englewood, Colo.

Investigators determined the probable cause of the incident was “the pilot’s loss of airplane control following the loss of power in the left engine; the reason for the loss of power could not be determined during postaccident (sic) engine examination.”

The incident occurred after a flight over Yellowstone National Park. The pilot was flying a Cessna T310R and crashed in Cody, Wyo., killing four people.

Key Lime Air has also been involved in four accidents since 2014 for which the NTSB was mandated to investigate.

In December 2014, one person was killed when the pilot lost power to the right engine, “for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident (sic) examination and teardown.” The NTSB also blamed the pilot’s failure to properly configure the airplane for single-engine flight as a probable cause for the accident.

A cargo flight crashed near Goodland, Kan., in January 2015 because the pilot failed to properly manage the aircraft’s fuel as well as to conduct emergency procedures while improperly forcing a landing. That, according to NTSB paperwork, “resulted in fuel starvation, a total loss of engine power, and the subsequent high-energy impact with powerlines and terrain.”

The report also said the pilot was fatigued during his flight.

A Key Lime Air incident in April 2015 involved “uncontained engine failure due to the fatigue failure of the second-stage turbine rotor disk.” According to NTSB records, the crash occurred near Rifle, Colo., and the pilot was not injured.

“Postaccident (sic) examination of the airplane revealed that the right engine’s second-stage turbine rotor had separated,” the report said.

In December 2016, one person died after an “in-flight” breakup near Camilla, Ga., according to NTSB records. An investigation found the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s decision to fly in adverse conditions. That, “resulted in spatial disorientation, a loss of airplane control, and a subsequent in-flight breakup,” the NTSB findings said.

According to FAA records, the companies are also linked to other incidents in recent years that did not rise to the level of an NTSB investigation, including aircraft veering off the runway, bird strikes, blown tires and aircraft striking a runway light.

Regarding the May 12 incident during which one of its aircraft collided in mid-air with another plane, Key Lime Air released this statement:

The Metroliner sustained substantial damage to the empennage and tail section but the pilot was able to continue the approach and landed safely. 

It is our understanding that the pilot of the other aircraft, a Cirrus SR22 deployed the ballistic recovery parachute and that the pilot and passenger did not suffer injury.

It is company policy to protect the individuals and those affected and as such we will not release names or personal information of those involved. 

We are participating in an active investigation of the incident with the FAA and NTSB. As information comes to light, if authorities deem it appropriate to share with the public, we will do so.

We cannot express the gratitude we have, company-wide that no one was injured.

We thank all those who have reached out with concern for our company and its people.

Key Lime Air

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