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Aircraft:
Aero Commander 500
Where: Concord, CA
Injuries: None
Phase of Flight: Takeoff

An Aero Commander 500 impacted trees during climb out after takeoff from Petaluma, California. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The left wing of the airplane was substantially damaged. The owner operated the personal flight under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight departed from Petaluma at 2200, and was destined for Concord, California, where it landed about 2220. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at Oakland, California, 36 miles southeast of Petaluma; however, the pilot reported that visual conditions prevailed at Petaluma and Concord. No flight plan was filed.

In his report to the Safety Board, the non-instrument rated pilot reported that he received a weather briefing and that visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed at his destination, 31 miles to the southeast. It was a dark, moonless, night but stars were visible in the sky at the departure airport with haze to the west. Lights were visible 10 miles to the south. The pilot departed on runway 29 and made a right, downwind departure. During the departure turn, he encountered instrument meteorological conditions at about 900 feet. He reported that while in the clouds he had difficulty leveling the wings and there was 'some altitude fluctuation.' During this time there was a 'pop' sound and the aircraft became difficult to control. He broke out on top of the clouds at 2,700 feet and proceeded to landing at Concord, his original destination. Control of the aircraft required him to input full right rudder control, 90 percent of available right aileron control, and to reduce power on the right engine. Inspection of the left wing revealed damage to the outboard 5 feet of the wing leading edge and embedded tree debris.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident/incident as follows: The pilot's inadvertent (dark, nighttime) VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions and subsequent loss of altitude control. A factor in the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight weather evaluation.

Source: National Transportation Board

Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC
Where: Erhard, MN
Injuries: None
Phase of Flight: Descent

An Aeronca 7AC piloted by a private pilot was destroyed when it impacted terrain 6 miles east of Erhard, Minnesota. A post crash fire ensued. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being operated without a flight plan. The pilot and passenger on board reported no injuries. The local flight originated near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, at 1730.

In his written statement, the pilot said he was in a left turning descent from approximately 1,000 feet agl to approximately 700 feet agl when the airplane's left wing dropped. The pilot said, 'I applied right stick, and simultaneously the airplane entered a spin. I pushed the stick immediately forward and applied right rudder - waiting for the aircraft to recover. The aircraft recovered approximately 35 feet from the ground, below a tree line that was quickly approaching. There was an area of open (unobstructed) ground to my left and I elected to land there. During the landing one of the landing gear collapsed and I slid to a stop short of the trees.' The pilot said a fire occurred in the engine nacelle area. 'My extinguisher was not adequate to extinguish the fire and eventually the entire fabric A/C (aircraft) was consumed.'

Also in his written statement, the pilot provided the following safety recommendation: 'Maintain adequate airspeed at all times when airborne.'

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause(s) of this accident/incident as follows: The pilot not maintaining adequate airspeed while maneuvering in the turn. Factors relating to this accident were the low airspeed, the inadvertent stall, and the low altitude.

Source: National Transportation Board

Aircraft: Aeronca CH-7A
Where: Cumberland, MD
Injuries: 1 serious; 1 minor
Phase of flight: Takeoff

At 1610 eastern standard time, an Aeronca CH-7A was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after taking off from Mexico Farms Airport (1W3), Cumberland, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/mechanic was seriously injured, and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local test flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the airplane's owner, he had hired the pilot/mechanic to restore it following 5 to 7 years of storage. This was the airplane's first flight since being completely disassembled and rebuilt.

Telephone interviews with both the pilot and the passenger revealed that neither had any memory of the accident flight; however, the pilot did state that in the weeks prior to the accident, he had fueled the airplane with aviation fuel and had performed several ground runs.

According to witness statements, the airplane took off from runway 09, then made a 180-degree climbing right turn to the west, attaining an altitude of approximately 400 feet above ground level. Shortly after passing abeam the threshold of runway 09, the airplane made a descending left turn, clipping several trees and a second-floor porch railing before impacting the ground and coming to rest on its left side, against the back of a residence.

A witness, who was working outside in her garden, described the engine sounds as being "loud and slow" prior to hearing the impact.

The airplane was examined on site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. All of the wreckage was contained within the backyard of a single residence, with some evidence of impact with trees and another house immediately south of the accident site. Damage to both residences was superficial. The damage path indicated a steep, left-wing-low decent. The left side of the airplane was extensively damaged.

The wreckage was moved to a hangar and further examined. According to the inspector, rotational damage was observed on the propeller.

The propeller hub was rotated by hand, and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. Valve train continuity was established to the rear accessory drive. Examination of the top row of spark plugs revealed their electrodes were intact and light gray in color. The right magneto was damaged by impact; the left magneto was rotated by hand and delivered spark on all towers.

Examination of the fuel tank revealed 1 to 2 gallons of auto fuel. The fuel bowl-to-carburetor supply line was disconnected at the carburetor. Fuel flowed freely from the bowl. The carburetor inlet screen was not contaminated and the bowl was full of fuel. Throttle linkage continuity was established, although the throttle could not be operated due to impact damage. The throttle was found in the 'idle' position. The engine was not equipped with a mixture control.

Control cable continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit. The cables exhibited tool-cut damage and "broomstraw" breakage. None of the terminus-point cable connections showed signs of pre-impact failure.

The Aeronca CH-7A was a high-wing airplane with a wooden wing spar supported by 'V' shaped struts. The bottom of each strut was attached at a single point to the fuselage, while the top of each strut was bolted to the underside of the wing spar at two attachment points, fore and aft.

According to the inspector, the aft strut attachment point was not connected to the left wing spar at the accident site. The aft strut/wing attachment hardware was not found in the wreckage of the airplane or at the accident site. The bolt holes in the wing spar and on the aft strut revealed no signs of damage or stress from impact. The bolt holes in the wing spar and on the forward strut revealed signs of stress and bolt-hole-elongation.

Following the accident, the pilot/mechanic told the investigator that he remembered installing all four strut/wing attachment bolts prior to the accident flight.

Weather conditions at Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (CBE), Cumberland, Maryland, 1 mile north of Mexico Farms, were reported at 1642 as winds at 150 degrees true at 14 knots, gusting to 18 knots, and clear skies with 10 miles visibility.

Mexico Farms Airport was an uncontrolled airport with a single 2,100-foot-long by 195-foot-wide turf runway, and a field elevation of 607 feet.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot/mechanic's failure to ensure the proper installation of the left wing's aft strut-to-spar attachment bolt, which resulted in a loss of control and a subsequent impact with terrain.

Aircraft: (Smith) Aerostar
Where: Johns Island, SC
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
Phase of Flight: Takeoff

A Smith Aerostar operated by a commercial pilot, collided with the ground following a loss of power in one engine during initial climb after takeoff from Charleston Executive Airport, Johns Island, South Carolina. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot and the pilot-rated passenger received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage from impact and from post-impact fire. The flight departed Charleston Executive Airport, Johns Island, South Carolina, about 1524.

A witness at a maintenance facility at Charleston Executive Airport stated the pilot stopped in and requested maintenance on the airplane. The witness reported he was too busy to look at the airplane, and he suggested the pilot call a facility at Charleston International Airport, Charleston, South Carolina. A witness at a maintenance facility at Charleston International Airport stated the pilot telephoned him and told him that, during engine start, one engine sputtered and abruptly stopped. The witness stated the pilot told him he wanted to bring the airplane over to have the problem looked at before returning to Florida, but the airplane did not arrive.

A witness, who was an airline transport-rated corporate pilot, was standing on the ramp at Charleston Executive Airport and observed the airplane rolling for takeoff on runway 27. The witness stated the airplane appeared to rotate "really late," using approximately 4,000 feet of runway. He stated he and a fellow corporate pilot commented to each other about the long takeoff roll, wondering if the airplane was over gross weight and wondering why the pilot did not abort the takeoff. He stated he watched airplane climb to about 400 or 500 feet, then he saw it "enter a left-hand spin ... I counted three decreasing radius turns in the spin before I saw it disappear behind some trees." The witness then saw a large, smoky black-orange fireball and ran inside to telephone the 911 operator. Emergency response personnel located the airplane on the ground in flames in a wooded area approximately 5,500 feet from the departure end of runway 27.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane; a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane, and an advanced ground instructor certificate. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate with the limitation "holder shall wear corrective lenses." The pilot's logbook was not recovered for examination. The pilot reported 2,007 total civilian flight hours on his application for the airman medical certificate. A past owner of the airplane stated the pilot had approximately 150 hours total multi-engine time. The pilot's total time in make and model was not known; a representative from the company that insured the airplane reported the pilot experience requirements in make and model for insurance purposes would have included 25 hours dual instruction and 10 hours solo.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
The airplane was manufactured in 1975 and was certificated as a Smith Aerostar 601P. It was subsequently modified with two Lycoming TIO-540-U2A 350-horsepower engines and two Hartzell HC-C3YR-2CUF constant-speed propellers. The maintenance logbooks were not recovered for examination. Work orders provided by a maintenance facility revealed an annual inspection was completed at a Hobbs time of 3,805.9. The Hobbs meter reading at the accident site could not be determined. A past owner of the airplane reported the engines were installed by Aerostar Aircraft Corporation. An online sales advertisement of the airplane by its previous owner described the airplane as a "Superstar 700 Pressurized Aerostar" and listed the aircraft time as 3820 hours since new, engine time 625 hours since new, and propeller time 625 hours since overhaul.

An Aviation Laboratories report recorded oil analysis results for samples from each engine. For each engine, the report stated, "Note increase in iron. Increased iron is typically caused by aircraft inactivity."

The airplane was topped off with 102.3 gallons 100LL fuel prior to departure.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane came to rest upright at the base of trees freshly broken and scraped approximately 30 to 40 feet above the ground. Charred trees and smoldering ground vegetation encircled the wreckage. The cockpit, instrument panel, and cabin were crushed and fire-damaged. The throttle quadrant was crushed and fire-damaged with the throttle, propeller, and mixture control levers bent and melted.

Both wings were crushed and fire-damaged, and the wings and engines remained attached to the main spar. The outboard section of the left wing was separated. The left aileron was crushed, fire-damaged, and partially attached. The left flap was attached. The right aileron was separated and fire-damaged on the ground adjacent to the trailing edge of the right wing. The right flap was crushed and fire-damaged with the middle section attached. The empennage was attached to the fuselage. The vertical stabilizer was in place with the rudder and rudder trim tab attached. The horizontal stabilizer was in place, and the left elevator and trim tab were attached; the right elevator was crushed and attached at the inboard attachment, and the right elevator trim tab was attached.

The right propeller was attached to the flange. Examination revealed two propeller blades displayed little damage with some chordwise scratches, and the counterweight and pitch change knob on each were intact. The third propeller blade was bent aft approximately 90 degrees and was twisted toward low pitch; the blade displayed chordwise scoring and areas absent of paint on the camber side, the counterweight was intact, and the pitch change knob was separated. The cylinder was separated from the hub and retained its air charge, the pitch change rod was separated and the mechanism could not be actuated, and the piston was intact. Examination of the right propeller governor revealed the unit was damaged and was leaking at the cover / body seal. Functional testing and disassembly examination of the right propeller governor revealed no evidence of pre-impact abnormality.

The left propeller was attached to the flange. Examination revealed two propeller blades displayed little damage, and the third blade was bent aft approximately 90 degrees; the counterweight and pitch change knob on each blade were intact. The cylinder retained its air charge, the pitch change mechanism could be actuated, and the piston was intact. Examination of the left propeller governor revealed the unit was fire-damaged, and damage precluded a functional test of the unit. Disassembly examination revealed the non-metallic components were melted or damaged; the pump gears, gear pockets, and bearing surfaces showed no signs of damage or abnormal wear.

Examination of the right engine revealed fire damage to the engine and accessories. The magnetos and the ignition harness were fire-damaged, and the spark plugs displayed deposits and wear consistent with the "normal" condition on the Champion AV-27 comparison chart for fine-wire plugs. Both turbochargers were fire-damaged. The fuel servo was fire-damaged, the inlet screen was free of debris, the fuel pump was fire-damaged, the fuel flow manifold was fire-damaged, and the No. 1 fuel injector nozzle was clear with the other injector nozzles contaminated with debris. Crankshaft continuity was observed to the accessory drive gears when the crankshaft was turned at the flange, valve movement was observed, and compression developed on all six cylinders. The oil suction screen contained a few flakes of non-metallic debris, and the oil filter was fire-damaged.

Examination of the left engine revealed fire damage to the left side of the engine and to the accessories, and the propeller was attached. The magnetos and the ignition harness were damaged, and the magnetos produced ignition spark on all towers when rotated. The spark plugs displayed deposits and wear consistent with the "normal" condition on the Champion AV-27 comparison chart for fine-wire plugs, except the No. 5 bottom plug was contaminated with a fragment of piston ring material, the No. 5 top plug had a dark sooty appearance, and the nose core of the No. 2 bottom plug was fragmented. The left turbocharger was fire-damaged, rotated when turned, and the inlet hose was secure, fire-damaged, and collapsed at the elbow. The right turbocharger was damaged, would not rotate, and partial disassembly revealed dirt and soil debris inside. The debris was cleared, the unit rotated, and no abnormalities were observed on the compressor vanes. The fuel servo flange was fractured, and the inlet screen was free of debris; flow bench examination of the fuel servo revealed no abnormalities. The fuel flow manifold diaphragm was heat-damaged. Flow bench examination of the fuel injector lines and nozzles on a serviceable fuel flow manifold revealed the lines and nozzles were free of obstruction. The engine crankshaft could not be rotated. A hole was observed in the left forward bottom of the crankcase. Metallic debris was retrieved from the oil suction screen and oil filter, and oil was present in the oil cooler lines.

Disassembly examination of the left engine revealed the crankcase showed internal scrape and gouge damage, with the most pronounced damage in the areas under the Nos. 6, 5, and 4 cylinders. A counterweight was found separated in the crankcase. One roller and its two retaining rings and two washers were in place in the counterweight; the other roller was absent, its retaining rings were in place, one washer was fractured and separated, the other washer was cracked. Examination of the crankshaft revealed one ear of the separated counterweight's mounting pad was separated from the crankshaft and embedded in the crankcase. The camshaft showed damage marks and was separated aft of the second camshaft lobe from the rear; the location of the camshaft separation was consistent with the plane of rotation of the separated counterweight assembly. The inside of the No. 5 cylinder barrel and the No. 5 piston skirt displayed longitudinal scoring. The rear side of the No. 5 piston from top to bottom was eroded away, the rings for the corresponding area were eroded away, and ring material was embedded in the piston skirt.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Pathology, Charleston, South Carolina, on April 6, 2004. The report stated the cause of death was "... blunt force trauma ..." Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report stated no ethanol was detected in the vitreous, and no drugs were detected in the urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH
Metallurgical examination of the fracture surfaces of the counterweight washer revealed features consistent with overload. Core hardness and case hardness measurements of the washer were found to conform with the manufacturer's engineering specifications. The case depth measurement of the washer was found to be 0.001 to 0.003 inches more than the maximum limit of 0.016 inches specified in the engineering drawing.

Metallurgical examination of the fracture surfaces of the separated ear of the crankshaft's counterweight mounting pad revealed features consistent with high-stress, low-cycle fatigue. Crankshaft composition, core hardness, case hardness, and case depth measurements were found to conform with the manufacturer's engineering specifications.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
According to Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular AC65-12A, Chapter 10, Engine Maintenance and Operation, Basic Engine Operating Principles, Combustion Process, "... instantaneous and explosive burning of the fuel/air mixture ... is called detonation. ... [Detonation can] cause a "scrubbing" action on the cylinder and the piston. This can burn a hole completely through the piston. ... Severe detonation ... is indicated by ... broken ring lands, or eroded portions of valves, pistons, or cylinder heads."

An aircraft registration application on file with the FAA listed "Aero Dreams, LLC" as the applicant and was signed by the commercial pilot as "president."

A review of Emergency Operating Procedures for the Aerostar 601P revealed the following procedures: "Loss of Engine Before Liftoff: Close throttles and stop aircraft," and "Loss of Engine After Liftoff: If sufficient landing area is still ahead, pull throttles back and effect and immediate landing. Without sufficient landing area ahead, proceed as follows: ... 8. After obstacle clearance, establish best rate of climb speed ..." The procedures further state, "Normal procedures do not require operation below the single engine minimum control speed, however, should this condition inadvertently arise and engine failure occur, power on the operating engine should immediately be reduced and the nose lowered to attain a speed above ... the single engine minimum control speed."

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during emergency descent, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin and uncontrolled descent into trees and terrain. A factor was the loss of engine power in one engine due to pre-ignition/detonation.

 

Aircraft: Avid Amphibian
Where: Fredericksburg, VA
Injuries: 1 minor
Phase of Flight: Takeoff

On June 22, about 1530 Eastern Daylight Time, a homebuilt Avid Amphibian was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from the Shannon Airport (EZF), Fredericksburg, Virginia. The certificated commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a telephone interview, the pilot said that about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks prior to the accident, he removed the airplane's engine, propeller, alternator, and magnetos to check wiring located beneath the airplane's instrument panel. After reassembling the components, he performed a successful engine ground test run-up, and a 30 minute test flight. During the test flight, the pilot noticed the engine RPM consistently went beyond the red line limit. After landing he confirmed that the propeller, which was an IVRO Magnum, ground adjustable propeller, was set to the same pitch prior to its removal.

On the day of the accident, the pilot adjusted the propeller pitch an additional 5 degrees to keep the RPM within limits. He then performed a normal ground run-up at EZF, and departed Runway 24 for a test flight. The pilot stated that the takeoff was normal and the engine sounded "smooth." After reaching an altitude of about 300 to 400 feet (agl), the airplane experienced a sharp reduction in power. The RPM dropped from 6,600 to 5,700; however, the engine sound remained constant. The pilot retarded the throttle and then advanced the throttle forward. The engine RPM increased momentarily then dropped to about 5,000 RPM. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and performed a forced landing to a cornfield. The pilot noted that the engine continued to run smoothly at the lower RPM, and at no time did the engine "sputter or cough."

According to the pilot, the airplane had been operated about 270 hours. The airplane's engine, an Aero GT-1000, had been operated about 285 hours.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not revealed any catastrophic airframe or engine malfunctions. Additionally, the airplane's engine ran smoothly during a post accident test run performed by the pilot; however, examination of the propeller reduction gear box revealed that the steel cage of the sprague clutch bearing was "cracked and partially disintegrated."

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident/incident as follows: A failure of the propeller reduction gear assembly for undetermined reasons, which resulted in a loss of thrust.

Aircraft: Boeing A75N1(PT17)
Where: Sutton, WV
Injuries: 2 Minor.
Phase of Flight: Takeoff

At 1915 eastern daylight time, a Boeing Stearman PT17, N55175, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during take-off from Braxton County Airport (48I), Sutton, West Virginia. The certificated airline transport pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted.

In a written statement, the pilot said he was concerned with the field elevation (1,270 feet msl), aircraft weight, heat, and humidity before the flight. He elected to depart to the north (runway 01) where the terrain appeared to be lower than to the south, and the winds appeared calm. During the takeoff roll, the pilot felt a "slightly slower acceleration than normal." After an "abnormally" long takeoff roll, and bouncing twice on the runway, the airplane began to climb in ground effect.

The pilot said that he considered aborting the takeoff twice, but was concerned that there was not enough available runway to land, and felt that he would be able to out climb the terrain located at the end of the runway.

As the airplane left ground effect, its climb rate was "barely" 100 feet per minute. When the pilot realized that he would not clear the terrain, he lowered the nose in an attempt to gain airspeed. He located an area of lower terrain, made a shallow right turn, and attempted to fly through the area. However, the airplane sank into the trees and rolled.

During the flight, the pilot verified that the throttle was full forward and the engine instruments indicated full power. He said the engine sounded as if it was "normally producing full power."

The pilot reported two causes of the accident; "the aircraft's heavy weight with 3/4 fuel and heavy weight of the crew", and "the pilot's unfamiliarity with the aircraft's performance in high-density altitude operations."

The pilot also reported a total of 2,450 flight hours, of which, 12 flight hours were in make and model.

Runway 01 was a 4,000-foot-long and 60-foot-wide asphalt runway.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector examined the wreckage. According to the inspector, the left top and bottom wings exhibited impact damage, and the right top and bottom wings were separated from the airplane. The propeller and tail control surfaces were also damaged.

The weather at Braxton County Airport, at 1851, was reported as winds from 270 degrees at 5 knots, temperature 73 degrees F, dewpoint 63 degrees F, and barometric pressure setting of 29.92 inches Hg. The visibility was 10 statute miles and clear skies.

THE CAUSE
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's failure to abort the takeoff in a timely manner. Factors included the high density altitude conditions, and the pilot's lack of familiarity with the airplane's high density altitude performance characteristics.

Source: National Transportation Board

Aircraft: Boeing 757
Where: Atlanta, GA
Injuries: None
Phase of Flight: Landing

At approximately 0805 eastern daylight time, a Boeing 757 experienced a tail strike while landing at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Flight 274 was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121 while on an instrument flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, and there were no injuries. The flight departed at 1210 and operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru.

According to the flight crew, there were two pilots, five flight attendants, and 82 revenue passengers on board flight 274. This leg of the flight was flown by the First Officer. The First Officer said, "When I made my walk around in Lima, I noticed a large number of crates that were prepared for loading onto the aircraft. This seemed unusual, especially in view of the fact we carried virtually no cargo on the trip from Atlanta. Since we were flying a B-757, rather than a B-767 which is more normally flown in our category, the Captain and I discussed the different flying characteristics of the B-757 and the need to take the B-757's tendency to pitch down somewhat abruptly following touchdown into account upon landing."

Upon arriving in Atlanta, the Captain recalled that the final approach and flare appeared normal. The Captain also noted, "At some point during the flare, the tail of the aircraft apparently contacted the runway, although it was not evident to us in the cockpit." While on the landing flare on runway 27R into Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, the tail of the airplane collided with the ground.

Examination of the airplane revealed belly skin damage on the tail section aft of the drain mast. The aft pressure bulkhead showed buckles between S-29 left and S-29 right stringers. Buckles were also noted in the lower web of the aft pressure bulkhead.

Data recovered from the Flight Data Recorder revealed the airplane touchdown at 0805:35 at 110.25 knots and a pitch attitude of 10.37 degrees. Touchdown is based on the air/ground switch state change. The vertical acceleration spike (1.265 g's) at 0805:36.64 indicates the time of the tail strike. The max pitch angle (11.25 degrees) was recorded at 0805:37.05. The VREF airspeed for the airplane is 128 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident/incident as follows: The pilot's improper landing flare that resulted in the tail section collision with the runway. Both pilots were given additional flight training and returned to normal duty .(See'it happens to the best of us! IFA Editor)

Source: National Transportation Board