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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174457
Last updated: 10 January 2020
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Date:11-MAR-2015
Time:11:49
Type:Silhouette image of generic HAWK model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
BAe Hawk Mk 67
Owner/operator:Air Usa Inc
Registration: N506XX
C/n / msn: 67-506
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Marine Corps Air Station Yuma /Yuma Int'l Airport, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:Yuma, AZ (NYL)
Destination airport:Yuma, AZ (NYL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The swept-wing advanced trainer/light attack airplane was privately owned and contracted to provide support to the US Air Force (USAF) under public aircraft provisions. It was equipped with wing-mounted external fuel tanks and bomb rack/dispensers loaded with practice ordinance. During takeoff, the airline transport pilot was unable to maintain airplane control following rotation. The airplane did not climb, departed the left side of the runway, and struck a pickup truck, which was involved in construction activities and parked about 150 ft from the runway edge. The occupant of the truck was killed, the pilot and his passenger (who was flying as a “ride along”) were not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage.
The entire accident sequence was captured by an onboard video camera, which was positioned inside the canopy at the rear of the cockpit. The camera recorded some engine instruments, the primary flight instruments, the back of the pilot’s head, and the runway and horizon. Analysis of the recording revealed that the pilot initiated rotation about 8 knots before reaching the correct indicated airspeed and that the airplane lifted off the ground about 10 knots early, about the same time as it reached its target pitch attitude. The video image, which up until this point had been smooth, then began to shudder in a manner consistent with the airplane experiencing the buffet of an aerodynamic stall. The airplane immediately rolled aggressively left, and the main landing gear struck the ground hard. The airplane then pitched up aggressively and began a series of roll-and-pitch oscillations, bouncing from left to right with the outboard bomb dispensers and landing gear alternately striking the ground as the pilot attempted to establish control. The airplane passed beyond the runway edge and reached its target takeoff speed just before striking the truck, but by this time, it had departed controlled flight, was in a steep right bank at almost twice its target pitch attitude, indicating that it had likely aerodynamically stalled.
The pilot reported that he felt the airplane’s nose become light as the airplane approached rotation speed, and the video revealed that the nose was oscillating lightly up and down a few seconds before rotation, consistent with his statement. The pilot stated that, before takeoff, he set the pitch trim to 3 degrees nose up, which was consistent with the operator’s policy for takeoff with external stores. The policy was in place to relieve stick pressure on rotation; however, the airplane’s flight manual specified that 0 degrees pitch trim should be used for takeoff in all configurations. During the postaccident examination, the airplane’s pitch trim was found at almost full nose up for reasons that could not be determined. It is likely that the pilot initiated an early rotation instinctively as the airplane’s nose became light due to the excessive nose-up pitch trim. The operator stated that the company policy for nose-up trim on takeoff was intended to give the airplane control stick pressures on rotation comparable to other U.S. fighter aircraft, such as the FA-18 and F-16. Although the operator had used this technique without incident on many prior missions, it was in direct contrast with the manufacturer’s takeoff recommendations and likely increased the risk of early rotation.
Postaccident examination of the airframe and flight control systems did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The primary engine components were undamaged, and the video revealed that the engine appeared to operate uninterrupted and at high power levels throughout the accident sequence.
The external fuel tanks were partially filled with fuel, which was allowed per the airplane’s flight manual, (assuming the airplane was flown at the correct airspeeds). The bomb dispensers were not on the airplane manufacturer’s list of approved weapons; therefore, the operator had commissioned an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-designated engineering representative to prepare a struc
Probable Cause: The pilot’s initiation of an early rotation during takeoff, which led to an aerodynamic stall and loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's use of noseup pitch trim and the operator's policy to use nose-up pitch trim during takeoff and the lack of oversight of the operator by the US Air Force. Contributing to the severity of the accident were US Marine Corps airport policies that allowed construction activities immediately adjacent to an active runway, which resulted in the airplane's collision with a truck.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20150311X71032&key=1
FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=506XX


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
12-Mar-2015 07:25 gerard57 Added
12-Mar-2015 07:32 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
12-Mar-2015 13:42 Aerosssurance Updated [Aircraft type, Nature, Source, Narrative]
12-Mar-2015 13:47 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Mar-2015 18:23 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Mar-2015 20:43 Aerossurance Updated [Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
08-Apr-2015 03:28 Geno Updated [Time, Source]
17-Apr-2016 22:55 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
14-Aug-2016 18:09 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
14-Aug-2016 21:26 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 12:47 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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