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Investigators say pilot errors caused 2004 commuter plane crash

By AP/KWMU

Washington – Federal investigators say a series of pilot errors, combined with fatigue and a lack of professionalism, caused the deadly 2004 crash of a commuter airliner in northeast Missouri.

The two-man crew and eleven of 13 passengers aboard Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 were killed in the accident -- making it the deadliest civilian air crash in the nation that year.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators say pilot Kim Sasse focused too much on looking outside the cockpit window, instead of monitoring flight instruments, as the plane approached Kirksville Regional Airport.

Based on a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, investigators also say Sasse and copilot Jonathan Palmer constantly traded jokes and casual conversation that distracted them from the flight.

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