GP Express Airlines Flight 861, from Hartsfield-Jackson International
Airport in Atlanta, Georgia to Anniston Metropolitan Airport in Anniston,
Alabama, crashed while attempting to land at approximately 8:04 a.m.
CDT on June 8, 1992. The Beechcraft Model 99, registration N118GP, had
four passengers and a crew of two on board. There were three survivors.
Two passengers and the captain received fatal injuries.
GP Express Flight 861 was to operate from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa, Alabama
with an intermediate stop in Anniston. The flight was operated as a
Department of Transportation Essential Air Service (EAS) flight. In
Atlanta, four passengers and six bags were loaded on the fifteen passenger
aircraft for the flight. During the flight, intercom problems created
difficulty in communication between the crew, additionally the crew
encountered problems with a battery and autofeather system. As the flight
approached Anniston, confusion developed in the cockpit regarding the
aircrafts position and correct course to Anniston. While a visual
approach was considered, visual conditions necessitated an instrument
landing system approach to Runway 5 at Anniston.
After being cleared by air traffic control for the instrument landing
system (ILS) approach to runway 5 at Anniston, the flight crew turned
the airplane toward the north away from the airport in the erroneous
belief that the airplane was south of the airport. The flight crew did
not perform the manoeuvres specified on the approach chart, which required
flying outbound from the airport, then performing the "procedure
turn" back toward the airport. The investigation determined that
in actuality, the airplane had intercepted the back course localizer
signal for the ILS approach, and the flight crew had commenced the approach
at a high airspeed about 2,000 feet above the specified altitude for
crossing the final approach fix. The airplane continued a controlled
descent until it impacted terrain.
Notes: All times are expressed in central
daylight savings time. All times were derived from the Birmingham Approach
ATC recording. only radio transmissions involving the accident aircraft
0819:51 ((start of recording))
CAM-2 okay. exteriors?
CAM-1 okay, landing light's comin' on.
CAM-2 battery * cabin temp *. auto-ignition?
CAM-1 should be all complete except the
CAM-1 auto ignition.
CAM-2 and the time we'll be out of hbre
twenty three. geese LoUiSe.
CAM-1 a little late on that, huh.
CAM-2 * behind us.
CAM-1 wonder if there's any other way you
could of gotten out of here. do we have
any options on our?
CAM-2 negative. no other way.
CAM-2 this, get use to this I mean this I I
this doesn't bug me.
CAM-2 look at the bright side. with the
hourly pay scale your
CAM-1 jingle jingle jingle.
CAM-2 learn to play the game dude. I mean
it's customer service. there's nothing
we can do about this.
CAM-2 go ahead and get the auto-ignition on
that'll be good.
TWR Regional Express eight sixty one runway two seven right taxi into
position and hold.
RDO-2 assume the position eight sixty one.
CAM-1 look at that stuff come out of there.
CAM-1 so bring the power in, go to idle on
the ah number two cut-off.
CAM-2 here it comes. no not cut-off.
CAM-1 or ah idle.
CAM-2 I know what you mean.
CAM-1 you know what I meant.
CAM-1 boy feel that?
CAM-2 yup, that's why I give lem plenty of
CAM-1 okay landing light's. everything is
good. We'll be goin for nav lights
also and strobes once we're in-flight.
CAM-2 that's right.
CAM-2 everything pretty well matched up.
everything's kosher here we go.
CAM-1 and we'll climb well above his climb
CAM-1 probably one nin-.
TWR Regional Express eight sixty one on departure fly heading one
niner zero runway two seven right cleared for takeoff.
RDO-2 left to one nine zero cleared for takeoff regional eight sixty
one. thank you.
CAM-2 okay away we go.
CAM-2 lights are out. they're on.
CAM-2 both of them are on. cool.
CAM-2 through fourteen. I'll trim out.
CAM-1 thank ya.
CAM-2 airspeed's alive through eighty.
CAM-2 there's Ves one.
CAM-2 and two.
CAM-2 Stand-by there's blue.
CAM-2 positive rate.
CAM ((sound of trim-in-motion beeps))
TWR Pee correction Regional Express eight sixty one turn left heading
one niner zero contact departure.
RDO-2 left to one ninety going to departure eight sixty one good day.
CAM-2 bring it back a little bit more-.
CAM-2 four thousand.
RDO-2 Atlanta departure good morning
Regional Express eight sixty one's with
ya one nine zero on the heading out of
two point four for four thousand.
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one Atlanta departure good morning
maintain four thousand.
RDO-2 four thousand eight sixty one.
CAM-1 climb check please.
CAM-2 gear and flaps?
CAM-1 and ah they're up.
CAM-2 power props?
CAM-1 they're set.
CAM-2 prop sync?
CAM-1 comin, on.
CA14-2 engine gauges?
CAM-2 water-meth didn't use. auto-feather?
CAM-1-1 auto-feather's off. they're both
CAM-2 somthin' must just been doin' drugs on
us this morning. okay, lights?
CA14-1 taxi off. strobels on.
CAM-2 battery's still given us fits.. and
CAM-2 comin' up on a thousand to go your
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one
turn right heading two six zero.
RDO-2 right to two six zero eight sixty
RDO-2 hello Atlanta GP Express eight sixty
COMP GPA eight sixty one go ahead.
RDO-2 yeah ah are we Suppose to give you
our out times?
COMP please pretty please.
RDO-2 okay ah since you talked me into it
howls one two five five and one
three two three sound to ya.
COMP okay one two five five and one three
RDO-2 that's right. they're stacked up out
here. talk to you later
COMP have a good one.
CAM-2 cruise power. props?
CAM-2 engine gauges?
CAM-1 off, I'll leave it off.
CAM-2 sounds good. interiors exteriors?
interiors are on. exteriors?
CAM-2 you can kick the landing lights Off
that's what we do. you know your call
when ever you want to turn lem off.
CAM-1 okay we'll get a little ways away from
CAM-2 okay I'm gunna turn this off.
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one climb and maintain five thousand
fly headin' two seven zero.
RDO-2 we're out of four for five thousand two seven zero on the heading
eight sixty one.
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one fly headin' two eight zero.
RDO-2 goin' right to two eight zero ah eight sixty one we're level
CAM-1 did you make the station call?
CAM-2 yeah I already did that.
CAM-2 all set.
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one climband maintain six thousand.
RDO-2 we're out of five for six thousand at this time now ah eight
CAM-2 I suggest why don't we turn a little bit I'm gunna ask him a
little bit southward for weather. this isn't too bad but ah.
CAN-1 see how bumpy it is when we get up there.
CAM-2 what's that?
CAM-1 does it give you level one through six or just tell you if it's
level three or greater?
CAM-2 I can- just a second.
CAM-2 I'm writin' up this damn intercom. okay what did you say again?
CAM-1 ah it only flashes if you're level three or greater right?
CAM-2 right so you know I'm I'm not worried unless you are I mean.
CAM-1 I just soon go through we're already behind.
CAM-2 cool with me I mean cause I mean that's what I thought.
0834 : 47
CAM-2 look's like probably nothin' after it.
CAM-2 comin' up on a hundred to go your
CAM-2 there you go.
CAM-1 should be out of this in a minute,
CAM-1 actually it's pretty smooth in here
CAM-2 feels kinda good.
CAM-1 does this vector intercept an airways?
CAM-2 comin' in looks like comin' in real
slow that's probably what h6la doin'.
DEP Regional Express eight sixty one contact Atlanta center on* thirty
four ninety five good day.
RDO-2 one thirty four ninety five good day Sir.
0638:21 ((Atlanta Center Controller
started to be board on the radio channel))
CAM-2 amazing when you got the bug smashers
out they can't talk.
CAM-2 how would he know.
CAM-2 geese LouiSe.
CAM-2 I think we got a sucker hole on the
CAM-2 yeah you're okay.
CAM-2 this guy's pissin' me off.
RDO-2 Atlanta Center Regional Express ,light sixty one'3 with ya six
CTR Regional Express eight sixty one Atlanta Center roger descent
discretion maintain five thousand.
RDO-2 "PD" to five thousand ah we're out Of six at this time ah eight
CTR eight sixty one roger
HOT-1 that's Talladega?
INT-2 okay ah -- thirty two miles out.
INT-1 does he want us to resume own
INT-1 I heard him say that. as far as I'm
concerned I'm still on vectors two
INT-2 yeah two eight zerols fine. because
we're on course anyway so let's just hold it.
INT-1 yeah but we're slowly drifting off.
INT-2 ah but turn that zero eight five to
INT-1 what's the course'
INT-2 zero eight five inbound.
INT-1 you mean zero six five?
INT-2 zero eight five.
INT-2 zero eight five.
INT-1 then we're way off course.
INT-2 east is zero nine zero.
CTR Regional Express eight sixty one radar service is terminated contact
Birmingham approach one two five point four five.
RDO-2 one two five point four five for Birmingham ah so long
0843:03 ((Birmingham Approach Controller
was started to be heard on the radio))
INT-2 you want to do the approach?
INT-1 yes -- and in-rahge.
INT-2 there's our altitude. comin' up on it.
RDO-2 Birmingham approach good morning Regional Express eight sixty
with ya five thousand..
APP Regional Express eight sixty one Birmingham roger ah standby just
APP Regional Express eight sixty one descend and maintain four thousand
and ah continue direct Talladega if You're unable to get the ah Anniston
airport in sights expect ah no delay for the ILS five from over Bogga.
There is an area of weather southwest of Bogga on the final
approach course about ah four to five miles. Anniston's reporting
fifteen hundred scattered estimated ceiling one zero thousand broken
visibility five with light rain fog and haze the wind is zero six
at six altimeter three zero zero six.
RDO-2 okay we're out of five thousand at this time for four thousand
possible visual and ah if we don't see it we'll let you know for the
ILS eight sixty one thank you.
INT-2 I'm gettin' you all dialed in standby.
INT-2 the outer marker is located in there
there's you marker beacon is ah it's on.
RDO sound of beacon test tone)).
INT-1 okay right now we're trackin' direct
to the Talladega VOR.
INT-2 that's correct.
INT-2 there's our area of weather --- so ---.
INT-2 five hundred to go.
INT-2 geese Louise.
INT-1 this is fun.
INT-1 in-range call's complete?
INT-2 ah standby.
INT-1 in-range checklist.
INT-2 how much fuel?
INT-2 how much?
INT-1 ah you mean ah fuel?
INT-2 how much fuel are we goin' to have?
INT-1 in with ah twelve hundred. out with
INT-2 okay ah ha light.
RDO-2 Anniston Base eight sixty one.
RDO-2 Anniston base eight sixty one assumint you can hear us but we
can't hear you. we got three people for ya, one goin' through to
Tuscaloosa twelve hundred in and out on the fuel see you in oh about
PA-2 ah folks we're starting our descent into Anniston like to ask
that you double check to see if your seat belt is fa3tened for landing
at this time and any carry-on that you may have brought with you is
a stowed beneath the seat in front of you thank you.
INT-2 okay anyway in-range is complete. basically what they didn't
reply but what @ told me to do is she couldn't hear us. is these radios
are so # poor that they were give that I just broadcasted in the blind
and they were goin' to monitor for us but anyway station call is done
cabin sign I just did. the passenger brief I got. altimeter he gave
us. windshield anti-ice we donft need. crew briefing ah if we don't
get the visual here in a few miles we'll do the ILS if we have to.
INT-1 okay landing light's ah-.
INT-2 there you go.
INT-1 comin' on just turn them on and taxi.
INT-2 okay. Taxi won't do you any good until the gear comes down.
INT-1 that's okay. it's on.
INT-2 no problem.
INT-1 I didn't know that though.
INT-1 and let's see.
INT-1 and ah you've got everything set up
that you can except the localizer
INT-2 yeah for you and I'll get ler in there
INT-1 and in-bound course is?
INT-2 ah I'll set it with my heading bug but
I believe it's ah zero four nine so.
INT-1 zero four nine inbound.
INT-2 I'll just
APP Regional express eight sixty one the new Anniston weather seven
scattered estimated ceiling one thousand five hundred broken niner
thousand overcast three miles fog and haze. the seven hundred foot
layer is ah scattered variable to broken appears to be breaking up.
the wind is zero niner zero at five altimeter three zero zero six
RDO-2 eight sixty one thank ya.
HOT-2 you want-.
INT-2 you want to go around for the ILS?
084 8: 10
APP and a eight sixty one proceed direct Bogga maintain four thousand
'til Bogga cleared localizer run- er
ILS runway five approach.
RDO-2 direct direct to Bogga four thousand and cleared for the ILS
eight sixty one thank you
INT-1 ask him distance from
INT-2 from Bogga?
INT-1 that's okay I'll just.
INT-2 we're ah. minus six point one. we're five miles from Bogga.
INT-2 go ahead and slow on up.
INT-2 there you go keep the shiny side up.
INT-2 there you go should have moved your heading bug here you go
I'll get you
set in here.
INT-1 okay let's go approach flaps.
INT-2 speed checks comint now.
INT-2 didn't realize that your going to get this much on your first
day did ya.
084 8: 51
CAM ((sound of trim-in-motion beep))
INT-1 well it's all kind of ganged up here
on me a little fast.
INT-1 got the localizer in?
INT-2 workin' on it.
INT-1 think we're goin' to go through it.
INT-2 ah I'm goin' to kill somebody about
these radios I can't get your frequency
INT-2 there you go.
INT-1 yup went through it.
0849 : 2 4
INT-2 can you go around for it?
INT-1 I bet you. I think we're right over
INT-2 we're right over Bogga. He kept us in
real tight I mean God we're - we're
four and a half out that was uncalled
for go ahead and drop your gear speed
INT-1 glide slope isn't even alive.
INT-1 what's the minimum altitude I can
descend to 'til I'm established?
INT-2 'til established. twenty two hundred.
APP Regional express eight sixty one that ah weathers south of ah
Bogga is moving northbound and the leading edge appears to be about
miles southwest of Bogga.
RDO-2 eight sixty one thank you very much we're out of four thousand
localizer at this time and we're inside of Bogga.
APP yes sir and advise procedure turn inbound.
RDO-2 ah procedure turn inbound complete.
INT-2 okay here it comes.
INT-2 I'm thinkin'.
INT-1 ah we gotta go missed on this.
INT-2 just a minute - there you go - there
your gunnal shoot right through it
again - there you go see.
INT-2 that's why I was kindal wonderin' you
INT-2 okay we gettint in close keep 'er
INT-2 you're okay.
INT-1 hopin' no one on here's a pilot.
INT-2 well one guy got on with a helmet bag.
INT-2 okay there you go. roll out. you're
INT-2 see you you had about a ninety degree
intercept there I was kindal like whoa.
INT-2 through twenty two we're
INT-1 okay we're on our way.
INT-1 there's the glide slope.
INT-2 okay watch your airspeed. one fifteen
on the airspeed.
INT-2 we're inside- through twenty two we
can continue our descent on down.
we're way high.
INT-1 okay is the glide slope working?
INT-2 nope I'm not gettin' any.
INT-2 so with no glide slope, we're down to
INT-1 you got your right frequency in there?
INT-2 five hundred - one eleven five double
INT-1 what's our missed approach point now?
INT-2 missed approach at the middle marker
INT-2 eleven hundred but we need to add a
hundred so twelve hundred.
INT-2 comin' up.
CAM ((sound of impact))
end of recording