NH expert: Human factor likely doomed Malaysian Flight 370
A jet engine lies crumpled in the underbrush in Dorchester, N.H., after the November 1999 discovery of the Learjet that had disappeared in December 1996. (UNION LEADER FILE)
He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1977 and flew a variety of transports, including the C-5 Galaxy, out of Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Mass. He retired as a colonel in 2001.
Currently, Martens is an aviation safety consultant who uses the lessons learned from the Dorchester crash to prevent such incidents in the future.
Martens said in his case study of the Dorchester crash, which he has presented numerous times, it became immediately clear that the pilots — who left Bridgeport Municipal Airport in Stratford, Conn., on Christmas Eve 1996 to fly to Lebanon, where they were supposed to pick up passengers bound for Northampton, N.Y. — were responsible for the crash of their plane.
A forester, who had been in the same area just a day earlier, found debris from the crash.
Martens subsequently obtained the transcript of the plane's cockpit voice recorder as well as the radar track of the Learjet's flight from Connecticut to within 20 miles of Lebanon Municipal Airport. The jet disappeared after making a missed approach to the Lebanon airport.
Little left intact
When the Learjet was found, very little of it was intact. "When a projectile at 200 miles per hour impacts a mountain, it obliterates it," Martens said. "It pulverizes it."
Every plane crash is a sequence of events, Martens said. Research into crashes has repeatedly found that the pilots, not the craft, were at fault.
"Quite frankly, there's a lot higher chance of human culpability," he said. "Ninety percent plus of accidents are due to human rather than mechanical factors and that keeps going up all the time.
"Everything in aviation, year in and year out, has been getting safer and human beings remain the weak element in the system," he said.
"The take-away for me is that the cry should be for credible information," he said, "and the information being reported, in my opinion, is marginally credible."
"After ten days, you're not going to keep a perfectly intact aircraft with people onboard secret. With each passing second, that becomes less of a possibility. The good news is the millions and millions of people who travel safely every day."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- New London voters pass municipal budget - 0
- Peterborough voters say no to cluster housing, yes to village zone - 0
- Newport voters say yes to police and DPW raises - 0
- Hooksett voters OK budget, police pact - 0
- Voters reject propane-only heating plan at Lafayette Regional School - 0
- Zoning measures against sprawl on Peterborough Town Meeting ballot - 0
- Town engineer, budget increase on Hooksett ballot - 0
- New London residents to vote on $1.17 million budget - 0
- Sanbornton to vote on cruisers, voting date - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NH Shrine team girds for Vt.'s ground attack - 0
- On Baseball: Fishers prospects sweat out deadline day - 0
- Goffstown ready for LL regional tourney - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat -- Message is clear: Offense needs boost - 0
- Marina dealers say boat sales are on the rise - 0
- Another View -- Gilles Bissonnette: Why voting in NH is not reserved for state residents - 0
- John Stossel: Healthy profits? - 0
- Clinton vs. speech: Bullying first; what next? - 0
- Another View - Charles Lane: Your money is being spent by dead people - 0
Havenstein says he has always opposed Obamacare, though company he led was paid to implement parts of it
George Will: A conservative internationalism
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us
Market Basket customers mobilize
Punch line: The NFL blows it
Police held Abby suspect's guns