Narrative:After takeoff from runway 18R the nose of the Beech pitched up from 7 degrees to 52 degrees by the time it reached 1200 feet. The airplane rolled and struck the corner of a large USAirways hangar.
|Date:||Wednesday 8 January 2003|
|Operating for:||US Airways Express|
|Leased from:||Air Midwest|
|C/n / msn:|| UE-233|
|First flight:|| 1996|
|Total airframe hrs:||15003|
|Engines:|| 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67D|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19|
|Total:||Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21 |
|Airplane damage:|| Destroyed|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT) (United States of America)
|Phase:|| Takeoff (TOF)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT), United States of America|
|Destination airport:||Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, SC (GSP/KGSP), United States of America|
Two days prior to the accident maintenance had been performed on the airplane's elevator tab. The FAA ordered Air Midwest to immediately check 43 aircraft that were serviced at the airline's West Virginia maintenance facility.
METAR around the time of the accident:
KCLT 081251Z 22006KT 10SM SCT140 BKN250 03/M07 A2975 RMK AO2 SLP075 T00331072=
KCLT 081351Z 23007KT 10SM SCT140 BKN250 04/M06 A2976 RMK AO2 SLP079 T00391061=
KCLT 081451Z 24008KT 210V290 10SM FEW140 BKN250 07/M04 A2977 RMK AO2 SLP083 T00671044 53008=
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The airplane’s loss of pitch control during takeoff. The loss of pitch control resulted from the incorrect rigging of the elevator control system compounded by the airplane’s aft center of gravity, which was substantially aft of the certified aft limit. Contributing to the cause of the accident was: (1) Air Midwest’s lack of oversight of the work being performed at the Huntington, West Virginia, maintenance station; (2) Air Midwest’s maintenance procedures and documentation; (3) Air Midwest’s weight and balance program at the time of the accident; (4) the Raytheon Aerospace quality assurance inspector’s failure to detect the incorrect rigging of the elevator system; (5) the FAA’s average weight assumptions in its weight and balance program guidance at the time of the accident; and (6) the FAA’s lack of oversight of Air Midwest’s maintenance program and its weight and balance program."
» ALPA Submission to the NTSB on Air Midwest Flight 5481
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
On January 27, 2003 the FAA issued Notice N8400.40 requiring a number of operators of 10 to 19 passenger seat aircraft to validate the Weight and Balance Control Program to sample passenger weights, carry-on baggage weights, and checked baggage weights for part of their flights.
The survey showed that the average passenger weight was higher than the estimates by 20.63 pounds, carry-on bags were higher by 5.72 pounds and domestic checked bags by 3.81 pounds. Consquently, on May 12, the FAA reported it is adding 10 pounds to its estimate for passengers and five pounds to luggage (Notice 8300.112). This notice was cancelled by the publication of AC 120-27D August 11, 2004.
NTSB issued 25 Safety Recommendations
Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations
Memorial at the crash site
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 Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC to Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, SC as the crow flies is 121 km (75 miles).