Lax enforcement of cockpit procedures by the captain contributed to crew errors that caused the crash of Northwest Flight 255 in Detroit last year, the nation's second worst air disaster, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's final report.
Capt. John Maus and First Officer David Dodds performed "below the standards of an air carrier flight crew," the NTSB said in a 142-page report made available for public inspection Monday.The NTSB report concludes that contrary to Northwest operating procedures, Maus relegated his responsibility for starting and completing crucial pre-flight checklists to Dodds.
The MD80 jet was taking off for Phoenix the night of Aug. 16, 1987, when it crashed just northeast of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 154 of 155 people aboard and two people on the ground.
The NTSB said Dodds did not deploy the jet's wing flaps and slats, which provide lift for takeoff. That task is the first item on one of several checklists the pilots either failed to conduct or completed in a haphazard manner, the agency said in its report.