Narrative:A McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registration N786TW, suffered a runway excursion following an aborted takeoff from runway 23L at Detroit-Willow Run Airport, Michigan, USA. The aircraft had been chartered by the University of Michigan Basketball team for a flight to a game in Washington, DC.
The aircraft overran the end of the runway, damaged approach lights, went through the perimeter fence and crossed Tyler Road.
It came to rest on grassy terrain, 345 meters past the end of the runway, with the rear fuselage across a ditch. The nose landing gear had collapsed.
Runway 23L is a 7543 ft long runway.
Post-accident examination by the NTSB revealed movement of the control column in the cockpit appeared normal; the control columns were free to move, and the elevator control tabs moved as commanded. However, when investigators tried to move the elevator surfaces by hand, the left elevator moved normally, but the right elevator was jammed in a trailing edge-down position (airplane nose down). Upon further inspection, the right elevator geared tab inboard pushrod linkage was found damaged which restricted movement of the right elevator surface but allowed movement of the control tab. After the damaged components were removed, the elevator could be moved by hand.
Examination of the flight data recorder data indicates that during the taxi and take-off roll, the left elevator moved normally, but the right elevator did not move. During takeoff roll, the left elevator began a large airplane nose-up movement (consistent with rotation) at an airspeed of about 152 knots and continued for five seconds to about 166 knots. There was no change in the airplane pitch attitude during this time. The airplane data then are consistent with the takeoff being rejected. The maximum recorded airspeed was about 173 knots.
Review of previous flight data showed normal movement of both the left and right elevator surfaces. The airplane flew to Ypsilanti two days before the accident.
» M Live
METAR Weather report:
16:53 UTC / 11:53 local time: KYIP 081653Z 26035G50KT 10SM CLR 11/M11 A2981 RMK AO2 PK WND 26055/1639 SLP095 T01061106
17:53 UTC / 12:53 local time: KYIP 081753Z A2979 RMK AO2 PK WND 24046/1656 SLPNO 58012 $
19:53 UTC / 14:55 local time: KDTW 081953Z 26033G44KT 10SM FEW050 12/M14 A2980 RMK AO2 PK WND 24051/1926 SLP095 T01171144
Weather for Detroit Metro Airport, 13 km east of KYIP
right hand elevator diagram
displaced inboard elevator geared tab linkage
Video, social media
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 Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI to Washington-Dulles International Airport, DC as the crow flies is 626 km (391 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.