Narrative:The Turbo DC-3 had just undergone a Phase 1 inspection at Pretoria. Final power assurance checks were carried out on the aircraft’s engines on the morning of the accident. The AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer) trimmed the elevator-trim tab to the Full Nose UP position in order to reduce the stick forces required to hold the tail down during the engine power checks, but he did not set the elevator trim back to the neutral position on completion of the checks. The AME was requested by the pilot(s) to remove the aileron and elevator external gust locks and the landing gear down lock pins. He left the rudder lock in place, which was later removed by one of the pilots. The pilot(s) did not carry out a pre-flight inspection. The aircraft then taxied to runway 11 for departure on a mail express flight. At a height of 20m the aircraft climbed steeply before crashing in a left wing-low attitude. The plane then caught fire. The pilot-in-command, who did not wear a shoulder harness, sustained fatal injuries.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "It would appear that the accident was as a result of the PIC taking-off with the elevator trim set to the full nose-up position. This resulted in the nose of the aircraft pitching up after rotation, causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft."
Loss of control
» ICAO Adrep Summary 5/98 (#122)
» Independent Online
» John Miller
» SA CAA Report J10/2/6936
Official accident investigation report
|investigating agency: ||Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - South Africa |
|report status: ||Final|
|report number: ||J10/2/6936|
|duration of investigation: || days ()|
|download report: ||
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 Pretoria-Wonderboom Airport to Durban-Louis Botha Airport as the crow flies is 548 km (342 miles).