Barker plane tyres 'under-inflated'
Published 06/04/2010 | 17:58
Under-inflated tyres led to the plane crash that killed four people and seriously injured Travis Barker and celebrity disc jockey DJ AM, federal safety investigators said.
The Blink 182 drummer and DJ AM, also known as Adam Goldstein, had just wrapped up a concert in Columbia and were taking off from a local airport in their chartered jet with two of Barker's staff members and two pilots on September 19, 2008.
As the plane hurtled down the runway at about 150 mph, all four tyres of the Learjet 60 exploded only seconds apart. Pieces of the tires, hurled at high speeds, damaged the plane's hydraulic system, causing the plane's brakes to fail. Also damaged were the plane's thrust reversers, which can be used to slow the plane.
The flight's captain, who had only 35 hours of experience flying a Learjet 60, tried to abort the take-off even though the plane had already exceeded the speed at which takeoff could be safely rejected, investigators said. Adding to the problem, and eliminating all ability of the pilots to stop the plane, was that the damage to the plane's thrust reversers caused Learjet 60 to automatically add power to the engines even as the captain was trying to decrease it, they said.
The jet hurtled off the runway, crossed a five-lane highway, hit an embankment and was engulfed in flames.
Travis and DJ AM were the only survivors. DJ AM died of a drug overdose a year after the accident.
Travis and family members of his bodyguard, Charles Monroe Still Jr, and his assistant, Chris Baker, who were killed in the accident, have reached legal settlements with several companies.