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B190, vicinity Charlotte NC USA, 2003

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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 January 2003
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Airworthiness, Ground Operations, Loss of Control
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions VMC
Flight Details
Aircraft BEECH 1900
Operator Air Midwest
Domicile United States
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Charlotte/Douglas
Intended Destination Greenville/Spartanburg
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Take Off
TOF
Location - Airport
Airport vicinity Charlotte/Douglas
HF
Tag(s) Violation,
Procedural non compliance
GND
Tag(s) Hold Loading"Hold Loading" is not in the list (Taxiway collision, On gate collision, Aircraft / Aircraft conflict, Aircraft / Person conflict, Aircraft / Vehicle conflict, Aircraft / Object or Structure conflict, ATC clearance error, Ground de/anti icing ineffective, Ground de/anti icing not available, Failure to De/anti Ice, ...) of allowed values for the "GND" property.,
Passenger Loading,
Cargo Loading"Cargo Loading" is not in the list (Taxiway collision, On gate collision, Aircraft / Aircraft conflict, Aircraft / Person conflict, Aircraft / Vehicle conflict, Aircraft / Object or Structure conflict, ATC clearance error, Ground de/anti icing ineffective, Ground de/anti icing not available, Failure to De/anti Ice, ...) of allowed values for the "GND" property.
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 No
Aircraft damage Hull loss
Non-aircraft damage Yes
Injuries None"None" is not in the list (Few occupants, Many occupants, Most or all occupants) of allowed values for the "Injuries" property.
Fatalities Most or all occupants ()
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"