Narrative:Mohawk Flight 40 took off from Elmira at 14:39 EDT for a flight to Washington, DC. At 14:44 the aircraft was cleared to climb to FL160. Eyewitnesses observed the aircraft a little later near Blossburg when large sections of the tail separated from the aircraft in flight, after which fire and smoke emitted from the tail as the aircraft dove into the ground.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The loss of integrity of empennage pitch control systems due to a destructive in-flight fire which originated in the airframe plenum chamber, fueled by hydraulic fluid, progressed up into the vertical tail fin. The fire resulted from engine bleed air flowing back through the malfunctioning nonreturn valve and an open air delivery valve, through the auxiliary power unit in a reverse direction, and exiting into the plenum chamber at temperatures sufficiently high to cause the acoustics linings to ignite."
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Elmira Regional Airport, NY to Washington-National Airport, DC as the crow flies is 365 km (228 miles).