Corporate Airlines Flight 5966
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|Date||October 19, 2004|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain aggravated by pilot error|
|Site||Pettis Township, Adair County
near Kirksville, Missouri, United States
|Aircraft type||British Aerospace Jetstream 32|
|Flight origin||Lambert–St. Louis International Airport|
|Destination||Kirksville Regional Airport|
Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 was a flight route from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, United States to Kirksville Regional Airport in unincorporated Adair County, Missouri, near the city of Kirksville. Corporate Airlines (now RegionsAir, defunct) flew the route as part of the AmericanConnection network, an affiliate of American Airlines. On October 19, 2004, a Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop flying the route crashed on the approach to Kirksville Airport, killing thirteen people and seriously injuring two.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilots’ failure to follow established procedures and properly conduct a non-precision instrument approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions, including their descent below the minimum descent altitude before required visual cues were available (which continued un-moderated until the airplane struck the trees) and their failure to adhere to the established division of duties between the flying and non-flying (monitoring) pilot. The NTSB analysis of the Cockpit Voice Recorder suggests that both pilots were looking outside the cockpit for visual cues to the location of the airport and failed to realize how low they had descended below the glidepath.
Contributing to the accident were the pilots’ failure to make standard callouts and the current Federal Aviation Regulations that allow pilots to descend below the minimum descent altitude into a region in which safe obstacle clearance is not assured based upon seeing only the airport approach lights. The pilots’ failure to establish and maintain a professional demeanor during the flight and their fatigue likely contributed to their degraded performance.
According to The Kansas City Star newspaper, some of the 13 passengers were doctors from other states who had been due to attend a seminar at the A. T. Still University. These included Steven Z. Miller, Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a prominent figure in "humanism in medicine" movement, and Bridget Welch-Wagner a dean of NEOUCOM and a mother. 
Two of the passengers, Paul Talley (44), a photographer specializing in photographing universities, and his assistant Matt Johnson (25) were on their way to Truman State University for a job. Neither survived.
John Krogh, age 68, and his assistant, 44-year-old Wendy Bonham were the survivors of the crash.
- "FAA Registry". Federal Aviation Administration.
- http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2006/aar0601.pdf, page 5 and 15 of 110.
- Bayot, Jennifer. Steven Z. Miller, A Pediatrician, Is Dead at 46, The New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004
- "Crash claims Utahn; 2 live," Deseret News
- "Thirteen die in US plane horror" on BBC News
- NTSB Preliminary Report from http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp NTSB Aviation Accident Database
- NTSB Final Report
- Archived American Airlines page about Corporate 5966
- Link to archived press statements by Corporate Airlines
- "Crash Survivor Relives Escape," CBS News
- "'I didn't believe it was happening'," Deseret News