This article mentions Piedmont Airlines created in North Carolina. For Henson Airlines (MD) that rebranded into Piedmont Airlines, please visit another page.Template:Air Crash template
The 1967 Hendersonville mid-air collision accident, also known as the Piedmont Airlines 22 crash occurred when a Piedmont Airlines Boeing 727-100 collided with a Cessna 310. The incident date was 19 July 1967. Both aircraft were destroyed, and all passengers and crew were killed.
A review conducted 39 years later put the primary blame on the Cessna 310 pilot.
Piedmont 22 Flight
Piedmont Airlines Flight 22 took off from Asheville Regional Airport's runway 16 at 11:58 EDT. The aircraft was due for a 35-minute IFR flight to Roanoke, Virginia.
When the Boeing 727 was on takeoff roll, the Cessna 310's pilot reported '21S just passed over the VOR, we're headed for the...for...ah...Asheville now.' The approach controller cleared the C310 to 6,000ft (FL60). At 11:59:44, the controller cleared Piedmont 22 to 'climb unrestricted to the VOR, report passing the VOR.'
He then cleared the C310 to approach 16. The 727 was still climbing when the C310 collided with the plane just aft of the cockpit. The collision altitude happened at 6,132 feet.
The Boeing 727 rolled onto its back and crashed almost vertically into Camp Pinewood, exploding on impact.
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) eventually cited the main contributing causes on the air traffic control procedures as well as placing primary blame on the Cessna pilot.
In 2006, the NTSB agreed to reopen and reinvestigate the accident after Paul Houle, a former air traffic accident investigator brought up issues with the original investigation. They are as follows:
- The original NTSB report did not report that the C310 pilot had reported his heading, which should have alerted ATC to a potential conflict between the C310 and the Boeing 727.
- The original NTSB report does not mention the fire in the cockpit ashtray in the 727. This was confirmed in the CVR transcript.
- The lead NTSB investigator had an apparent conflict of interest. His brother was a vice president and director of Piedmont Airlines. This was found in court testimony in 1968.
John T McNaughton - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He was the closest advisor for Robert McNamara.