The captain's reputation preceded him and the rest of the crew was ready to defer to his experience.
When they had a severe vibration during initial climb out caused by an unsecured door, the captain attempted to analyze the situation while flying the airplane. He gave his crew specific tasks and they were happy to accomplish these tasks while giving up the task of keeping the airplane flying and analyzing the situation to the captain. The captain was characterized by many as very good but the evidence indicates he wasn't much of standard operating procedures. Had he or the crew followed SOPs in any one of the following areas, the accident could have been avoided:
Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.
Figure: Location of air start access door, from NTSB AAR-86/01.
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶1.1.]
Maximum Except Take Off engine power
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶1.5.1]
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶1.16.2]
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶2.2]
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶3.1]
[NTSB AAR-86/01, ¶3.2] The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's failure to control and the copilot's failure to monitor the flight path and airspeed of the aircraft. This breakdown in crew coordination followed the onset of unexpected vibration shortly after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the failure of ground handlers to properly close an air start access door, which led to the vibration.
NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, AAR-86/01, Galaxy Airlines, Inc., Lockheed Electra-L-I 88C, N5532, Reno, Nevada, January 21, 1985
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