Accident McDonnell Douglas MD-87 N987AK,
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Date:Tuesday 19 October 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD87 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD-87
Owner/operator:987 Investments LLC
Registration: N987AK
MSN: 49404/1430
Year of manufacture:1987
Total airframe hrs:49566 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Houston Executive Airport, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Houston Executive Airport, TX (KTME)
Destination airport:Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS/KBOS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A corporate McDonnell Douglas MD-87, N987AK, suffered a runway excursion after an aborted takeoff from Houston Executive Airport, Texas, USA. The aircraft burst into flames after coming to rest in a field. All 21 are evacuated safely with two people being injured.
The aircraft, which had not flown for 10 months, was attempting to take off from runway 36 (6610 ft long) at Houston Executive Airport.
Preliminary data from the airplane’s FDR showed that both elevators were positioned at approximately 18° to 19° trailing edge down when the flight crew applied power and remained there during taxi. Upon reaching rotation speed, the recorded elevator positions split, but neither moved to a trailing edge up position.
The airplane reached a maximum speed of about 158 knots before decelerating when the flight crew rejected the takeoff.
Some 1200 feet of distinguishable heavy braking marks from the tires were found. The aircraft overran the end of the runway, went through a fence and took down powerlines before it came to a stop about 500 m past the end of the runway.

An examination of the tail section revealed that the left and right elevators were jammed in a trailing edge down position; neither elevator could be moved when manipulated by hand.
Both inboard actuating cranks for both elevator’s geared tabs were bent outboard, and their respective links were bent. Both actuating cranks and links were found locked in an overcenter position beyond their normal range of travel.
The damage observed to the left and right elevator geared tab input rod links is similar to the damage found on an MD-83 which crashed after a rejected takeoff on March 8, 2017.

Probable Cause: The jammed condition of both elevators, which resulted from exposure to localized, dynamic high wind while the airplane was parked and prevented the airplane from rotating during the takeoff roll. Also causal was the failure of Everts Air Cargo, the pilots’ primary employer, to maintain awareness of Boeing-issued, required updates for its manuals, which resulted in the pilots not receiving the procedures and training that addressed the requirement to visually verify during the preflight checks that the elevators are not jammed.


14:55 UTC / 09:55 local time:
KTME 191455Z AUTO VRB07KT 8SM CLR 22/16 A3011 RMK AO2

15:15 UTC / 10:15 local time:
KTME 191515Z AUTO VRB06KT 9SM CLR 23/17 A3011 RMK AO2

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA22MA009
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) NTSB; Houston Executive Airport, TX; 19 October 2021; (publicdomain)

photo (c) NTSB; Houston Executive Airport, TX; October 2021; (publicdomain)

photo (c) NTSB; Houston Executive Airport, TX; October 2021; (publicdomain)

Revision history:


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