July 28, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY — Federal safety leaders now officially blame a flock of large birds for a plane crash that claimed five lives in March 2008. Investigators say the bird strike disabled one of the planes engines and caused it to crash shortly after take off from Wiley Post Airport.
As a result, the NTSB offered a few safety suggestions. First they called for a wildlife hazard assessment study to be done at the airport. The goal is to determine exactly how much of a threat the birds pose to pilots at Wiley Post. One pilot we talked to doesn’t think that would do much good.
“I think it’d be a waste of money. It wouldn’t take a moron to see, you’ve got two lakes and a wildlife refuge, so there are birds,” said pilot Hal Harris.
The NTSB also called for a crackdown on unlicensed charter flights out of Wiley Post. In this case the fatal flight was operating illegally. The pilots were well trained, but they weren’t licensed for commercial flight.