Last weekend, a Boeing 767 cargo plane part of the Amazon Air fleet crashed into Trinity Bay near Anahauc, Texas. As of March 1st, the National Transportation Safety Board has recovered the black box voice recorder from the plane’s cockpit. With it, authorities should be able to determine what caused the Amazon Air plane crash that claimed the lives of three individuals.
Amazon Air Plane Crash Claims Lives of Three Crew Members
Three crew members died in the Amazon Air plane crash. Captain Ricky Blakeley, First Officer Conrad Jules Aska, and pilot Sean Archuleta were all discovered amongst the wreckage. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these three individuals.
In case you’re moved to donate, pilots have started GoFundMe pages to raise money for the families of these three men. There are two campaigns: one for the Blakeley and Aska families, and one for Sean Archuleta’s family.
What Caused the Plane Crash?
At this point, no one really knows for sure why the plane went down in Trinity Bay. That’s what black boxes are for: to provide clues and data to help authorities investigate the cause of crashes. However, speculation is swirling around that pilot fatigue had a lot to do with this particular crash.
John Cox—a retired pilot and author of Ask the Captain column for USA Today—is one of the many who believe fatigue may have played a part.
“Fatigue has been either the direct cause or a contributor to several accidents,’’ Cox said. “The fatigue issue for cargo pilots is very real.’’
In 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted new rules that call for mandatory 10-hour rest periods for pilots. However, the FAA made concessions for the freight shipping industry, so cargo pilots are not subject to these same 10-hour rest regulations. Instead, they only get 8 hours. While this Amazon Air plane crash is a terrible tragedy, it has at least sparked conversations about the risks cargo pilots face in order to meet rising demand in the era of eCommerce.
Cargo Pilots Face More Risk
In general, cargo pilots face a higher level of daily risk on than passenger pilots to begin with. This is due to flying overnight, landing at smaller airports, transporting hazardous materials, and working long hours to meet growing eCommerce demand.
As Amazon Prime continues to push the envelope towards faster and faster delivery, we can only assume these risks will continue to grow in tandem.