Investigators say a broken anti-skid switch and under-certified pilots may be factors in a fatal plane crash at Greenville’s Downtown Airport last month.
The National Transportation Safety Board report released last week shows investigators’ initial findings but does not yet reach a conclusion about what caused the private jet to go off the end of the runway. The pilot and co-pilot died in the crash, while two passengers aboard were seriously injured.
The report notes the plane’s anti-skid switch may have been out of order. “(There) was an “INOP” (inoperative) placard next to the switch, dated the day of the accident,” it noted. “The Nos. 2 and 3 fire handles were pulled. The parking brake was in the normal (off) position.”
Witnesses reported that the plane did not slow down after landing and eventually ran off the runway. Their testimony was confirmed by security footage.
The report also noted the plane’s pilot John Caswell had certification as a co-pilot on the Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft, but not as a pilot. Caswell had more than 11,600 hours in the cockpit, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The co-pilot Stephen Fox also lacked the proper rating for the plane, although he was licensed as a private pilot with more than 5,500 hours in the air.
The plane was traveling to Greenville from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport in Florida. The two injured passengers remain in the hospital. Officials have identified the survivors as MedPartners CEO Marci Wilhelm and her husband Steve Rose. The company said both are recovering.
Investigators will release a full report likely next year.