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1st of February 1994

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

A Saab 340-B was operating a scheduled passenger flight from Dallas / Fort Worth Airport (Texas, USA) to Baton Rouge-Ryan Airport. Onboard 3 crew and 23 passengers. At approximately 21.15 the crew received a descent clearance for Baton Rouge Airport, and the descent was initiated. 5 minutes later the Overspeed warning sounded for approximately 13 seconds.

The aircraft in the field, the runway in the top left corner of the picture (©NTSB)

After being asked for their preference by ATC the crew requested a straight-in approach to runway 13 at Baton Rouge. Subsequently, they were allowed to descend to 2000 feet (600 meters). During the descend the flight encountered some turbulence which surprised the crew as the weather was calm. They remarked that they suspected the cloud layers being the cause. Just after a speed reduction was initiated the autopilot disconnected. 6 seconds after the autopilot disconnect an increase in propellor rpm was recorded by the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). Another 4 seconds later the master warning alarm sounded and the first officer stated "Your both engines flamed out" and You've got an airport underneath you".

Several seconds later the sound of a decreasing propeller and engine sound was recorded by the CVR. Approximately45 seconds later the first officer issued a MAYDAY call to ATC stating that they had lost both engines and asked for confirmation that they were overhead an airport.

The aircraft in the field after the runway overrun (© NTSB)

ATC confirmed they were overhead of False River airport, which has a 5000 foot by 75 foot (1520 meters by 23 meters) runway. The captain flew an engine out circling approach to runway 18. The landing gear was lowered and the aircraft touched down, bounced and became airborne again with ~1600 feet (480 meters) of runway remaining. Approximately 1000 feet later the aircraft finally touched down. 4 seconds after the touchdown the captain stated "NO BRAKES".

After exiting the runway the aircraft continued for another 1425 feet (430 meters) before coming to a stop being substantially damaged. During the subsequent evacuation one of the crew sustained minor injuries, all other occupants exit the aircraft without injuries.

The accident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and they issued their report on the 27th of September 1994. (the full report is available by clicking here). The probable cause as concluded by the NTSB in their report stated:

The probable causes of this accident were the captain's movement of the power levers below fight idle in flight, the inadequate certification requirements and consequent design of the airplane's power levers that permitted them to be moved below the flight idle position into the beta range, either intentionally or inadvertently, while in flight, and the inadequate action taken to require a positive means to prevent beta operation on aeroplanes for which such operation is prohibited.

By placing the power levers below flight idle both engines and propellers experienced an extreme Overspeed The engines were substantially damaged during the Overspeed causing them to flame out.

The aircraft after recovery from the field, note the damage to the lower fuselage (© NTSB)

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