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The NTSB issued a full aircraft accident report https://libraryonline.erau.edu/online-full-text/ntsb/aircraft-accident-reports/AAR73-10.pdf for what seems to me to be a small general aviation crash. What I don’t understand is why it received this full report and not just a brief https://www.ntsb.gov/Pages/brief.aspx?ev_id=66900&key=0 like other such accidents

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  • $\begingroup$ It's their job to investigate accidents. A better question would be why they don't do it for all crashes. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jan 23 at 17:17

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While at first glance this may seem like a garden variety GA crash, it is not. It has several factors that make it stand out well enough to conduct a full investigation, to find the actual reason for the accident among many possible factors, and thus make it possible to improve processes to avoid such accidents in the future.

Furthermore, the flight was "general aviation business flight", and while I'm not fully familiar with the regulatory basis for this kind of operations I'm gonna make a bold assumption this would somewhat fall into the category of professional aviation, further emphasizing the need to investigate the accident.

The specific points of interest, separating this accident from a common GA accident would be:

  • flight being a "general aviation business flight" with two paying customers (my assumption)
  • loss of all occupants, totalling three deceased
  • flight conducted under IFR rules
  • adverse weather condition, especially known icing enroute
  • the fact that the weather conditions were brought to the attention of the pilot
  • the plane not having de/anti-icing equipment, and thus no approval for flight into known icing (FIKI)
  • the approach method being precision approach radar (PAR)

So the severity of the accident, and it being a "business flight" brought it into specific attention in the first place. Commercial/professional aviation has a lot to lose if the utmost standard in safety is not upheld. There were several interesting factors in the accident: poor weather, icing, no FIKI approval, despite of which the pilot set on the journey, PAR approach, which while generally being a safe procedure, can be very laborous to a pilot not well accustomed to it.

It was necessary to filter all the possible reasons and factors to come up with a definitive report on what went wrong, and how to avoid that from happening again.

Further reading on principles of accident investigation can be found in ICAO Annex 13: https://unitingaviation.com/news/safety/accident-investigation-provisions-of-icao-annex-13/

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    $\begingroup$ To me "GA business flight" sounds like it means Part 91 rather than 135 or 121. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Jan 23 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Could very well be, meanwhile I've educated myself, and found that "Business aviation is the use of any “general aviation” aircraft for a business purpose. The Federal Aviation Administration defines general aviation as all flights that are not conducted by the military or the scheduled airlines." So regardless of regulatory basis of the flights operated a gabf, they do deserve special attention as there is a professional aspect to such flights. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Jan 23 at 12:05

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