Flight 1502

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This report is about an in-flight breakup of the Sealed Composite’s SpaceShip Two during a test flight. The test flight and accident occurred on October 31, 2014 at 1007:32 Pacific daylight time over an area near Koehn Dry Lake, California. It encompasses background information of the aircraft involved, the pilots, and the type of test flight as well as the intended results. Sections of this report will also explain the actual crash to include elements and findings of the accident investigation. The information referenced comes from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Aircraft Accident Report – AAR# 1502 PB2015-10545. The findings and probable causes will be presented along with the recommendations of the NTSB accident investigation. The accident involves an aircraft built for Virgin Galactic called SpaceShip Two that would allow for suborbital travel for civilian passengers. This particular test was the fourth powered flight test and did involve one fatality. The accident investigation tends to center around the premature unlocking of the feather lock assembly during the boost phase of the test flight. As with any aircraft accident investigation, there is not just one single cause for an accident. As the investigation digs deeper there are contributing factors …show more content…
There were three previous tests conducted on April 29, 2013, September 5, 2013, and January 10, 2014. At the time of the crash the pilot had completed 13 glide test flights on the SS2 and the copilot has completed seven glide flights in the SS2. The test on October 31, 2014 was the first powered test flight for the pilot and the second for the copilot. All flight crews and test teams attended the test flight briefing held that morning from 0500 to 0600. The crews began the preflight process at approximately 0730 with the crews entering the aircrafts at 0815. The two mated aircrafts (WK2 and SS2) took off at

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