B190, vicinity Charlotte NC USA, 2003

Summary: 

On 8 January 2003, a B190, operated by Air Midwest, crashed shortly after take off from Charlotte, NC, USA, following loss of pitch control during takeoff. The accident was attributed to incorrect rigging of the elevator control system compounded by the airplane being outside load and balance limitations.

Event Details
When: 
08/01/2003
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Day
Flight Conditions: 
VMC

18926

Flight Details
Aircraft: 
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Flight Origin: 
Intended Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
No
Phase of Flight: 
Take Off
Location
Location - Airport
Airport: 
HF
Tag(s): 
Procedural non compliance, Violation
GND
Tag(s): 
Cargo Loading, Hold Loading, Passenger Loading
LOC
Tag(s): 
Significant Systems or Systems Control Failure, Aircraft Loading, Extreme Pitch
AW
System(s): 
Flight Controls
Contributor(s): 
Maintenance Error (valid guidance available), Component Fault after installation
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Hull loss
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
None
Occupant Fatalities: 
Most or all occupants
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Technical
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation, Aircraft Airworthiness
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On 8 January 2003, a BEECH 1900, operated by Air Midwest, crashed shortly after take off from Charlotte, NC, USA, following loss of pitch control during takeoff. The accident was attributed to incorrect rigging of the elevator control system compounded by the airplane being outside load and balance limitations.

Synopsis

This is an extract from the Aircraft Accident Report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (USA) (NTSB), USA:

"On January 8, 2003, about 0847:28 eastern standard time, Air Midwest (doing business as US Airways Express) flight 5481, a Raytheon (Beechcraft) 1900D, N233YV, crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 18R at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2 flight crewmembers and 19 passengers aboard the airplane were killed, 1 person on the ground received minor injuries, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Flight 5481 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Greer, South Carolina, and was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the airplane's loss of pitch control during takeoff. The loss of pitch control resulted from the incorrect rigging of the elevator control system compounded by the airplane's aft center of gravity, which was substantially aft of the certified aft limit.

Contributing to the cause of the accident were (1) Air Midwest's lack of oversight of the work being performed at the Huntington, West Virginia, maintenance station; (2) Air Midwest's maintenance procedures and documentation; (3) Air Midwest's weight and balance program at the time of the accident; (4) the Raytheon Aerospace quality assurance inspector's failure to detect the incorrect rigging of the elevator control system; (5) the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) average weight assumptions in its weight and balance program guidance at the time of the accident; and (6) the FAA's lack of oversight of Air Midwest's maintenance program and its weight and balance program. The safety issues in this report focus on maintenance work practices, oversight, and quality assurance; aircraft weight and balance programs; maintenance training; FAA oversight; and Beech 1900 cockpit voice recorder problems…"

Related Articles

LOC

AW

GND

Further Reading

For further information see the full NTSB Aircraft Accident Report: (NTSB/AAR-04/01): "Loss of Pitch Control During Takeoff, Air Midwest Flight 5481, Raytheon (Beechcraft) 1900D, N233YV, Charlotte, North Carolina, January 8, 2003"

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