In its revisions, the board said it found that "its reevaluation of the factual evidence from this accident did not conclusively determine that the air stair door had jammed." Therefore, in the probable cause section, the most important, the board altered a finding that a contributor to the loss was "the failure of the air star door on the Beech 1900C to open." The new language said a contributor to the loss of life was "the failure of the air stair door on the Beech 1900C to be opened."

In 2006, the NTSB reopened a case involving a 1967 Piedmont Airlines Boeing 727 and a Cessna 310 near Hendersonville, N.C., at the urging of amateur historian Paul Houle. Houle believed the NTSB mistakenly blamed the Cessna pilot because the agency's lead investigator was the brother of Piedmont vice president Zeke Saunders. US Airways, which had merged with Piedmont, opposed the reopening.

In 2007, following a 14-month investigation, the NTSB declined to change its findings because its review indicated that the Cessna pilot had flown off course.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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