NTSB Discovers Pilot Error in SpaceShipTwo Investigation

NTSB investigators are seen making their initial inspection of debris from the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo. The debris field stresses over a fiver mile range in the Mojave desert. (Credit: Getty Images)

NTSB investigators are seen making their initial inspection of debris from the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo. The debris field is over a fiver mile range in the Mojave desert. (Credit: Getty Images)

In a press conference at the Mojave Air and Sport Port Sunday evening, acting NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart revealed preliminary findings in the investigation of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo test flight accident. According to Hart, review of cockpit video during the flight showed that the co-pilot Michael Alsbury turned the tail feathering lock-unlock lever to the unlocked position too early. But Hart was quick to add that the NTSB has not concluded that this represents a cause and effect, and more analysis is necessary.

“I am not stating this was the cause of this mishap,” he said. “We have months and months of investigation to determine what the cause was.”

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© Tim Reyes for Universe Today, 2014. |
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