Experts doubt turbulence caused crash of cargo jet in Texas


DALLAS (AP) — Aviation experts expressed doubt Wednesday that turbulence could have caused the deadly February crash of a cargo plane in Texas, suspecting human error or a massive malfunction as more likely culprits.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why Atlas Air Flight 3591 suddenly dropped during its approach to a Houston airport and has not issued a cause of the crash.

The Boeing 767 struck Trinity Bay while traveling at hundreds of miles an hour — an impact that killed the three men aboard and sprayed debris through the swampy area 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The bay’s deep mud slowed investigators, and aviation safety specialists see the details already released as too little to solve the mysteries of the flight’s final moments. But they think it’s enough to rule out choppy air as a likely cause of the crash.

“Airplanes operate in situations like that all the time,” John Cox, an accident investigator and retired pilot, said of turbulence the plane hit a minute before it entered its fatal drop.

Teacher Who Allegedly Befriended and Raped a Minor Rearrested After Victim Receives Appalling Message

NTSB data show turbulence hasn’t caused a fatal accident on an American cargo or passenger jet in the last decade. Cox and others couldn’t recall a large plane being downed by rough weather since the 1960s.

Rather than precipitation the Atlas Air pilots had maneuvered to avoid, experts said NTSB investigators are likely focused on three events in the plane’s final moments: an engine surge, a small drift up and sharp turn down.

These events are being scrutinized as countries around the world are grounding a different model of Boeing aircraft after two were involved in fatal crashes less than five months apart. On Wednesday, the United States and Canada joined some 40 other nations in ordering all Boeing 737 Max jets grounded amid suspicions about a new automated anti-stall system.

Beyond brand, however, there appear to be limited links between the crashes.

The 767 that crashed in Texas is much older than the 737 Maxs that are being grounded. And no Atlas Air planes are equipped with the anti-stall system that’s come into question, a company spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City