Figure: Allegheny Airlines 453, N1550, from Aviation Safety net

Eddie Sez:

I get emails every now and then from pilots in flight departments where the chief pilot insists on no call outs and silent checklists. It has been a while, but I remember confronting such pilots and being told they didn't need to follow industry best practices because they were better than that. I think about this mishap when considering such pilots. You can't help but think about how this captain and first officer must feel reading the accident report. I think about how lucky they are nobody got hurt, in which case I would think they would have been guilty of murder.

What follows are quotes from the relevant regulatory documents, listed below, as well as my comments in blue.

Accident Report


[NTSB AAR-79-2, ¶1.1.]


[NTSB AAR-79-2, ¶2]


[NTSB AAR-79-2, ¶3.1]

Probable Cause

[NTSB AAR-79-2, ¶3.2] The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the captain's complete lack of awareness of airspeed, vertical speed, and aircraft performance throughout an ILS approach and landing in visual meteorological conditions which resulted in his landing the aircraft at an excessively high speed and with insufficient runway remaining for stopping the aircraft, but with sufficient aircraft performance capability to reject the landing well after touchdown. Contributing to the accident was the first officer's failure to provide required callouts which might have alerted the captain to the airspeed and sink rate deviations. The Safety Board was unable to determine the reason for the captain's lack of awareness or the first officer's failure to provide required callouts.

See Also

Procedures & Techniques / Call Outs

Procedures & Techniques / Crew Resource Management


NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, AAR-79-2, Allegheny Airlines Inc., BAC 1-11, N1550, Rochester, NY, July 9, 1978