Report on UAE seaplane crash that killed four Americans ready in 'weeks'

A draft of the final accident investigation report on the seaplane crash that killed four Americans in Al Ain two years ago will be ready in weeks.

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ABU DHABI // A draft of the final accident investigation report on the seaplane crash that killed four Americans in Al Ain two years ago will be ready in weeks.
However, it will not be available to the public for at least two months, said a spokesman for the General Civil Aviation Authority, the investigating body. First it will be sent to the American National Transport Safety Board for a 60-day consultation period.
An interim report released last year said the crash was probably not related to engine failure.
The antique McKinnon G21G turboprop, also called a Grumman Goose, crashed on to the taxiway at Al Ain International Airport shortly after take-off on February 27 last year, killing all four people on board.
It was en route to Riyadh on the first leg of a week-long trip that would have made stops in Morocco and South America before ending up in Texas.
The plane was owned by Triple S Aviation, an aircraft sales and aviation business development company with a defence and foreign military sales division.
The final report is likely to focus on routine maintenance performed on the aircraft on the day of the flight.
The plane had been stored in a hangar at the airport for six months, and an extra fuel tank had recently been added.
One of the men aboard had posted on Facebook that they were refused access to the plane two days before the crash.
The interim report also noted that the crew told air-traffic controllers that they intended to perform a test flight because they had not flown the aircraft "for a while". The flight was pushed back an hour while they waited for fuel.
Landon Studer, 28, the owner of Triple S, was piloting the plane at the time of the crash. The company's international project manager, Joshua Hucklebridge, also 28, was also on board, along with two seaplane enthusiasts from the western US - Tyler Orsow, 25, and Chuck Kimes, 61, who is believed to have been the co-pilot.
"All of us are still waiting for the report," said Elaine White, Mr Hucklebridge's mother. "Somehow, knowing what happened might help take the place of the bewilderment we all feel."
Terry Campbell, Mr Orsow's mother and a close friend of Mr Kimes, is visiting the UAE to mark the second anniversary of the crash.
"They are always in our heart and on our mind," Ms Campbell said last year. "We are thankful for all the wonderful memories that help get us through the day. We are also thankful for the impact Tyler and Chuck's life had on others and the memories and stories they share."
Mrs White also intends eventually to visit the UAE and the crash site. "I know if I were there, I would want to stand in the place where the crash happened," she said. "I would want to see where the aircraft was hangared. I would want to speak to the first responders and to whoever was in the tower that day. That's a lot to hope for, but it is what I would wish."
US and UAE authorities worked together on the investigation. The plane was not required to have a data flight recorder.
jthomas@thenational.ae