ASN Aircraft accident Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette N600RA Portland International Airport, OR (PDX)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 19 March 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic S601 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette
Operator:R. L. Riemenschneider Enterprises
Registration: N600RA
MSN: 36
First flight: 1978
Total airframe hrs:2305
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX), United States of America
Destination airport:Redmond-Roberts Field, OR (RDM/KRDM), United States of America
An Aérospatiale SN-601 Corvette, N600RA, experienced a loss of control during an attempted takeoff from runway 10L at Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon, and impacted signs, lights, and terrain on the airport property. The aircraft slid upright for approximately 1/2 mile following initial ground contact and came to rest on airport property southeast of the runway 10L departure end. The airplane was substantially damaged in the occurrence. The commercial pilot-in-command and three passengers escaped the aircraft without injury; there was no qualified second-in-command aboard.
The flight originally received an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to Hermiston, Oregon. After taxiing out from the parking ramp at a fixed-base operator (FBO), the pilot called Portland ground control and stated he wanted to return to the ramp.
Witnesses at the FBO reported that after returning to the, the airplane shut down and opened its main entry door, and that one of the aircraft occupants told ground service personnel the aircraft had an engine problem. The aircraft remained there for approximately 5 minutes, then started back up and taxied back out. After taxiing out the second time, the pilot cancelled his IFR flight plan to Hermiston with ATC, and requested and received a VFR clearance to Redmond, where the accident aircraft was based.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recording indicated that the pilot was unable to start the right engine before takeoff, and elected to attempt takeoff with the right engine inoperative. Witnesses reported that the airplane's nose lifted off about 4,100 feet down the runway and that it then became airborne with its wings rocking, attaining a maximum altitude of 5 to 10 feet above the ground before settling back to the ground.
Investigators removed the right engine starter-generator from the engine after the accident and found the starter-generator drive shaft to be fractured. The aircraft has a minimum crew requirement of two, consisting of pilot and copilot; the copilot's seat occupant, a private pilot-rated passenger, did not hold a multiengine rating and thus was not qualified to act as second-in-command of the aircraft.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot-in-command's decision to attempt takeoff with the right engine inoperative, resulting in his failure to maintain directional control or attain adequate airspeed during the takeoff attempt. Factors included a fractured right engine starter-generator drive shaft, resulting in an inability to perform a normal engine start on the ground."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 11 months
Accident number: SEA98FA047
Download report: Summary report

Flight with 1 engine inoperative
Loss of control



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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 Portland International Airport, OR to Redmond-Roberts Field, OR as the crow flies is 186 km (116 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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