NTSB finds cable problem with fatal plane crash in Charlotte
WASHINGTON (AP) — A problem with cables connected to the tail of a Beech 1900 turboprop caused the plane to climb too steeply and that may have suddenly shifted the cargo just before the aircraft crashed in Charlotte, killing all 21 aboard, federal safety investigators said Tuesday.
US Airways Express Flight 5481 plummeted to the ground shortly after takeoff Jan. 8. Investigators are looking at weight and elevator malfunction as possible contributing causes. The elevator is a flap on the tail that moves up and down and causes the plane to climb or dive.
In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board said elevator control cables were not operating correctly.
That, coupled with an instrument problem, could have caused the pilot, Katie Leslie, to take off too steeply.
The NTSB found that one cable attached to the elevator was about 2 inches longer than the other, which meant the elevator didn't properly respond to the controls. And the indicator on the instrument panel showed the plane's nose was pointed down when it really was up, according to the report.
Investigators also are looking at the cargo hooks to see if the baggage was secured when the plane crashed. A sudden shift of the cargo could have upset the balance of the plane, making it more difficult to control, particularly if it was climbing too steeply.
The maximum takeoff weight for the Beech 1900 is slightly more than 17,000 pounds. The NTSB has said the plane's documentation shows it was within 100 pounds of that weight.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday announced that airlines flying 10- to 19-seat planes must begin weighing passengers and their bags. The FAA wants to see whether its estimates for passenger and bag weights still are accurate or are too low.
The FAA also issued an order requiring inspections of elevators on all Beech 1900 series planes.
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No where has Doug usurped credit for the authoring of the story nor is he deriving any profit from the story so he's pretty safe. It also helps that the purpose of the site is not news dissemniation (the Web site is not a "news source/publication") If the AP or CNN really wanted to make a deal out of it they could - you can literally sue for anything, whether you win or not is an entirely different matter - but they'd most likely lose (assuming Doug had enough $$$ to take it to court and sustain long enough to a ruling).
Once something is published it's pretty much fair game (assuming you don't break the two rules above).
I am sure that could become a pretty big ordeal, weighing all passengers and bags for aircraft with 10-19 seats. I used to work with the 1900's and found them to be a great aircraft that would hold quite a bit of cargo. I could only imagine having to weigh all of it. To the best of my knowledge it would only effect the 1900 and the Jetstream 31 those are the only two that I can think of operating for airlines..