Weight And Balance, Maintenance Blamed in N.C. Crash | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 05.18.17

Airborne
05.22.17

Airborne
05.23.17

Airborne
05.17.17

Airborne
05.18.17

Airborne
05.19.17

Airborne-Unmanned 05.16.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 05.18.17

Airborne
05.22.17

Airborne
05.23.17

Airborne
05.17.17

Airborne
05.18.17

Airborne
05.19.17

Airborne-Unmanned 05.16.17

XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Fri, Feb 27, 2004

Weight And Balance, Maintenance Blamed in N.C. Crash

NTSB Discusses Investigation In Public Meeting

A maintenance error combined with excess weight in the back of the plane led to the crash of US Airways Express Flight 5481 last year at North Carolina's Charlotte-Douglas Airport, federal investigators said Thursday. All 21 people aboard were killed in the crash, the deadliest in the United States in nearly 2 1/2 years. The twin-engine Beech 1900, operated by Air Midwest, took off on Jan. 8, 2003. Within seconds, however, its nose pitched up sharply. The aircraft stalled, then rolled left and plummeted into a maintenance hangar. The plane had been destined for Greer, S.C.

Lorenda Ward, the investigator in charge of the NTSB probe, said improperly rigged elevator cables combined with improper weight distribution led to the crash of the commuter plane.

"The simultaneous existence of these two errors resulted in a virtually uncontrollable airplane," Ward said in a report presented to the NTSB, which was to vote whether to accept the findings. The board also was expected to make recommendations on safety changes.

The plane was within 100 pounds of its limit when it took off. The cockpit voice recorder transcripts show Capt. Katie Leslie and co-pilot Jonathan Gibbs discussed the issue on the runway. Investigators said the plane's tail was too heavy because of the way the passengers and bags were distributed. In addition, the pilots could not compensate because the elevator cables did not have their full range of motion.

Safety board investigators found that a contract mechanic, several nights before the accident, improperly adjusted the elevator cables while the plane was at the airline's Huntington (WV) maintenance facility.  But there may be several reasons for the mechanic's mistake, including inadequate oversight of the maintenance facility by the company and the government. Air Midwest contracted maintenance to Raytheon Aerospace (now known as Vertex Aerospace), which hired mechanics from Structural Modification and Repair Technicians Inc. The DOT inspector general reported in July that the FAA does not adequately oversee the growing number of outside contractors repairing commercial airplanes.

"If there's a systematic problem out there with either oversight of these third-party maintenance facilities or systematic problems with the ways manuals are maintained, hopefully that's what we want to see fixed," said Capt. Terry McVenes, executive air safety vice chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

FAA spokesman Les Dorr said it is up to the airline to make sure maintenance work is carried out properly. FAA inspectors visit sites based on where they can best allocate resources to mitigate risk, he said. Air Midwest's parent company, Mesa Air Group, announced this week that it will no longer contract out its maintenance. Also, the maintenance manual for the Beech 1900 has been revised to clarify rigging procedures.

The Charlotte crash also prompted changes in the FAA's guidelines for assessing the weight of passengers and baggage, adding up to 10 pounds to its estimate for people and 5 pounds to luggage.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

Advertisement

More News

Aero-Help Wanted: ANN Needs Good Honest Marketing Staff

ANN/Airborne/Aero-TV Marketing Department Needs Part or Full Time Personnel E-I-C Note: After months of hints, we've unveiled the next steps in the Airborne programming initiative >[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (05.21.17): Nonapproach Control Tower

Nonapproach Control Tower Authorizes aircraft to land or takeoff at the airport controlled by the tower or to transit the Class D airspace. The primary function of a nonapproach co>[...]

Airborne 05.19.17: Boeing T-X, WomenVenture 2017, BE-4 Rocket Test

Also: Orion Spacecraft, ANN Update, Sinful Sundays, ATC Privatization Oppo, Huerta@AUVSI, Fire Scout, 700th H130 Boeing will assemble its T-X Air Force training jet at its St. Loui>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.21.17)

Aero Linx: The Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association ( MEBAA) To be the principal forum for gathering, understanding and communicating the needs and benefits>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.21.17)

“We have the honour of submitting our report on the New York-Paris flight, flown by Captain Charles A Lindbergh, and we respectfully ask that this new record is homologated b>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC