OROVILLE, Calif. — A private jet crashed following an aborted takeoff at the Oroville Municipal Airport on Wednesday.
Aviation experts spoke to ABC10 to shed light on what could have happened leading up to the crash, and what passengers could do to prepare for similar emergencies.
Everyone on board the plane survived the fiery crash. Jerry Wagner, an aviation expert who operates a Youtube channel devoted to flying, said this is surprisingly common. Wagner said what probably saved the passengers was the experience of the pilots.
According to Wagner, the aborted takeoff may have caused a catastrophic failure while the pilots were still trying to get off the ground.
"Better to keep it on the ground and bump it around the airport than to get in the air and make a hole in the ground," Wagner said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family survived a crash just last week. That coupled with Wednesday's crash has many wondering if flying is becoming more dangerous.
"It is more safe now," Wagner said. "The smaller planes, the private planes like the ones we fly were on a strict maintenance schedule."
Wagner said planes are moving parts and accidents do happen.
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What are the next steps to figure out how and why the plane crashed in Oroville?
"The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) will be made aware of the situation and in concert with NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). An investigation will begin to determine what happened today," said Scott Miller, who is an assistant aeronautics professor at Sacramento City College. "They’ll look at all factors – the pilots, aircraft, maintenance records, fuel load – everything that had to do with today’s flight, and led to this unfortunate outcome."
Miller said a big focus of the investigation will be taking a look at the airport's runway.
"6,000 ft may have been plenty of runway or it might not have," Miller said. "Investigators will have to look at why the pilots chose to terminate the takeoff, and then why there wasn’t enough runway available to bring the plane to a stop on the runway."
Miller said whatever failure the pilots recognized had to be very serious that would compromise the aircraft’s ability to sustain flight.
We all should pay close attention to the safety briefings every time we board an airplane, Miller said. Even those of us who are frequent fliers.
"If things start to unravel, being aware will give you a jump on a successful evacuation, Miller said.