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Accident
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:mercredi 11 septembre 1991
Heure:10:03
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia
Operated by:Britt Airways
On behalf of:Continental Express
Immatriculation: N33701
Numéro de série: 120077
Année de Fabrication: 1987
Heures de vol:7229
Cycles:10009
Moteurs: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123
Equipage:victimes: 3 / à bord: 3
Passagers:victimes: 11 / à bord: 11
Total:victimes: 14 / à bord: 14
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:Eagle Lake, TX (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En vol (ENR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:Laredo International Airport, TX (LRD/KLRD), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Houston-Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol:2574
Détails:
Embraer 120 N33701 was pulled into the Continental Express hangar at Houston around 21:30 for scheduled maintenance which included removal and replacement of both left and right hand horizontal stabilizer deice boots. The second shift mechanics started working on the right hand deice boot. Although planned for the third shift, the 47 screws from the top of the left leading edge assembly for the horizontal stabilizer were already removed by the second shift. The third shift mechanics finished the replacement of the right hand deice boot but did not have time to replace the left hand boot as well.
The first flight was a 07:00 scheduled flight from Houston to Laredo.
Flight 2574 departed Laredo for the return leg to Houston at 09:09. The cruise portion of the flight was uneventful and at 10:03 the aircraft was descending through 11800 feet to 9000 feet when the air loads caused the left horizontal stabilizer leading edge to bend downward and separate. A sudden severe nose down pitchover occurred and the wings stalled negatively. A negative g of 3.5 was recorded by the FDR. Eyewitnesses reported a bright flash and saw the aircraft breaking up while descending in a flat left spin until impact.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of Continental Express maintenance and inspection personnel to adhere to proper maintenance and quality assurance procedures for the airplane's horizontal stabilizer deice boots that led to the sudden in-flight loss of the partially secured left horizontal stabilizer leading edge and the immediate severe nose-down pitchover and breakup of the airplane. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the failure of the Continental Express management to ensure compliance with the approved maintenance procedures, and the failure of FAA surveillance to detect and verify compliance with approved procedures."
NTSB board member John K. Lauber filed a dissenting statement on the investigation report, believing the probable cause should read as follows:
"1) The failure of Continental Express management to establish a corporate culture which encouraged and enforced adherence to approved maintenance and quality assurance procedures, and 2) the consequent string of failures by Continental Express maintenance and inspection personnel to follow approved procedures for the replacement of the horizontal stabilizer deice boots. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate surveillance by the FAA of the Continental Express maintenance and quality assurance programs."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-92-04
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-79 and -80
» Air Safety Week 4.1.1993 (p. 4)
» Flight International 18-24.09.91
» ICAO Adrep Summary 1/95
» NTSB/AAR-92/04


Opérations de secours

NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

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Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Laredo International Airport, TX et Houston-Intercontinental Airport, TX est de 482 km (301 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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Embraer EMB-120

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