Accident description
Last updated: 20 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 21 July 1984
Time:13:40 AST
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:South Pacific Island Airways - SPIA
Registration: N43SP
C/n / msn: 669
First flight: 1980
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 11
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 14
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tau Airport (TAV) (   American Samoa) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Pago Pago International Airport (PPG/NSTU), American Samoa
Destination airport:Tau Airport (TAV), American Samoa
Flightnumber: 513
Narrative:
While turning from base leg onto final approach the fight controls suddenly collapsed forward and the nose of the aircraft pitched up. The pilot tried to maintain control by using throttle and flap control. The Twin Otter then collided with the terminal building and a vehicle. It appeared that the elevator control cable was rusted and broken at Station 376 and the cable pulley in the area was also damaged. The cable hadn't been inspected for 725.9 hours, while inspection is required every 700 hours. The corrosion process was speeded up by the fact that the aircraft was operated in a high humidity and marine salt environment. The aircraft had also carried large amounts of salt pork and corned beef in the aft cargo compartment, directly above the corroded cable area.

PROBABLE CAUSE:
"Flight control system ,elevator control .. corroded
Flight control system ,elevator control .. failure, total"

Sources:
» NTSB


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Map
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 Pago Pago International Airport to Tau Airport as the crow flies is 129 km (81 miles).

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