Used Different Name, Inflated Total Hours
The National Transportation Safety
Board's factual report on a fatal May 2005 accident involving a
Mitsubishi MU-2 indicates the pilot may have given false
information to secure his pilots license.
The Oregonian newspaper reports Michael McCartney was flying
with his wife, Pam, and friends Art and Jean Pogrell on May 24,
2005 when their plane entered a spin at 1000 feet AGL, and went
down immediately after takeoff. All four people onboard the
aircraft were lost.
The NTSB has not yet made a final determination into what may
have caused the accident -- investigators are said to looking
closely at the possibility the plane's left engine suffered fatigue
failure -- but the board did turn up several suspect documents
regarding McCartney's pilot license, and the number of hours he had
The NTSB reports McCartney first obtained a pilots license in
1967, later earning commercial and IFR ratings, and building 5,000
Following the revocation of his commercial pilot license in 1985
-- due to what the NTSB reported as several "regulation
violations," Michael McCartney reapplied for his private pilot
license less than two years later -- with his first name spelled as
"Mychal" and the last four numbers of his social security number
The NTSB states McCartney also told the FAA examiner at that
time he had less than 1500 flight hours -- 3500 less than he had
last cited in 1982.
He went on to earn his commercial rating again, also as "Mychal"
-- but did not seek out a new instrument rating. And, it seems, he
also grossly over estimated his flight hours.
The factual report states that in May 1989, McCartney said he
had 7,500 hours of flight time, with none in the preceding six
months. Eighteen months later, though, he said he had 13,000
Investigators have determined McCartney had, in reality, just
under 2,200 hours, in all aircraft.
The NTSB states McCartney did have time in the MU-2 prior to the
accident -- including a 1991 gear-up landing accident -- but
had not operated a plane of that type in over 13 years, until
McCartney purchased the accident aircraft in April 2005.
The NTSB states that when McCartney picked up the plane at a
Tulsa, OK business on April 24, 2005, the manager who flew with the
pilot during an after-maintenance check said McCartney was
"proficiency lacking," and needed guidance on the checklist and
power settings. The manager also added McCartney could not fly the
plane and operate the radios at the same time.
The manager told the NTSB that due to concerns with the pilot's
proficiency in the aircraft, he flew back to Oregon with the pilot.
During the flight, the manager reported that the pilot had
difficulty controlling the aircraft in marginal weather conditions,
and at one point had to be coached like a "student pilot."
A logbook found in the wreckage of the MU-2 showed McCartney had
just under 12 hours of time in the accident plane.