ASN Aircraft accident MBB HFB-320 Hansa Jet N604GA Howell Island, MO
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 30 November 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic HF20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
MBB HFB-320 Hansa Jet
Operator:Grand Aire Express
Registration: N604GA
MSN: 1037
First flight: 1969-04-03 (35 years 8 months)
Total airframe hrs:6875
Engines: 2 General Electric CJ610-5
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Howell Island, MO (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Saint Louis-Spirit of St. Louis Airport, MO (SUS/KSUS), United States of America
Destination airport:Toledo-Express Airport, OH (TOL/KTOL), United States of America
HFB-320 Hansa Jet N604GA was ferried from Toledo (TOL) to Saint Louis (SUS) on March 23, 2004. In July 2004, Midcoast Aviation, located at SUS, was asked to perform the maintenance required by the FAA Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-01-11, "Replace Elevator Trim Cables." This was accomplished in September 2004. Two months later a Special Flight Permit was issued by the FAA for a ferry flight back to Toledo. Grand Aire's president arrived at Saint Louis to fly the plane back. At 19:43, N604GA contacted the SUS Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and received its IFR clearance to TOL. N604GA requested permission to do a high-speed back taxi on runway 26L. This was authorized. At 19:54, ATCT cleared N604GA for takeoff from runway 26L. The aircraft lost height after takeoff and crashed along the riverbank of Howell Island, about 3,7 km past the end of the runway.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The maintenance facility failed to properly install and inspect the elevator trim system resulting in the reversed elevator trim condition and the pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the terrain. Contributing factors included the dark night and low ceiling."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Accident number: CHI05FA038
Download report: Summary report

Wrong installation of parts
Elevator issue
Loss of control



photo of MBB-HFB-320-Hansa-Jet-N604GA
accident date: 30-11-2004
type: MBB HFB-320 Hansa Jet
registration: N604GA

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 Saint Louis-Spirit of St. Louis Airport, MO to Toledo-Express Airport, OH as the crow flies is 662 km (414 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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