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16th of September 2009, Blog #539

With only a pilot onboard a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air (Raytheon Aircraft Company B200) was to go on its first flight after a scheduled maintenance visit (a Continuous Airworthiness Inspection and routine maintenance) from Hayward Executive Airport, with San Carlos Airport as its destination. both in California, the USA.

The aircraft after the fire was extinguished (© NTSB)

The weather at the time (12.15 lt - local time) was good;

  • Wind: 270º at 7 knots

  • Clouds; none

  • Visibility: 10 miles

  • Temperature: 21ºC

  • Dewpoint: 14ºC

  • Altimeter setting; 30.08 inHg

After the engines were started the aircraft taxied to runway 28R. After the take-off clearance was received the power levers were forwarded and the aircraft started to accelerate down the runway. There were no abnormal indications or warning lights during the take-off run and the aircraft lifted off without any abnormalities, both engines delivering full power. However, at a height of approximately 100 feet AGL and with a speed between 95 and 100 knots, the aircraft started to drift to the left. The pilot attempted to correct the drift by right rudder and right aileron inputs, but this was not enough and the aircraft continue to drift to the left and came down near the airport edge after striking industrial buildings.

Tire marks from the left main landing gear tire and part of the wings were found on the roof of the building. A second industrial building (~50 feet west of the previous building) was also hit by the aircraft, it appeared that the aircraft was "riding" along the top edge of the building with the left engine striking the top side of the building. The aircraft had a right-wing down attitude at this time and the right main landing gear collided with a railway cart. This caused the aircraft to turn 180 degrees and drop on the railway track. Sliding some distance backwards over the railway tracks before coming to a stop.

The accident site after the fire was extinguished, note the railway cart at the far right on the picture (© NTSB)

The pilot managed to escape from the aircraft before a fire broke out that destroyed the aircraft. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) was alerted and an investigation was started. As part of the investigation, a detailed inspection of the wreckage was performed 6 days after the accident by;

  • a Safety Board air safety investigator

  • an FAA aviation safety inspector

  • a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation air safety investigator

They had the following relevant findings;

  1. Elevator trim wheel found in the "9 degree up" position - normal take-off position 2 - 3 degrees nose up

  2. Aileron trim wheel in the neutral position

  3. Rudder trim control knob in the full left position

  4. Landing gear lever in the down position

  5. Flap lever in the "UP" position

  6. The left propeller lever was observed in the "FULL FORWARD" / "LOW PITCH" position. The right propeller lever was observed one-half inch forward of the "FEATHER" position - This would cause the right engine to reach a higher torque, causing a left yaw

  7. The left condition lever was in the "LOW IDLE" position. The right condition lever was in the "HIGH IDLE" position.

  8. The engines and propellors displayed no indications of any pre-impact anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation prior to impact.

Based on the findings listed in the investigation report the National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain directional control after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight and failure to follow the airplane manufacturer's checklist to ensure that the rudder trim control and right propeller control lever were positioned correctly.

The accident site during the investigation (Source FlightAware)

The full investigation report (on which this blog is based) with all the details on the accident and the investigation, is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the .pdf file below;

King Air LOC-I 16-Sep-2009
Download PDF • 111KB

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