Aviation Accident of the Month

This month’s award definitely goes to the pilot behind the yoke of this BAC Strikemaster (representative photograph only; I couldn’t find a photo of the accident aircraft) that ran off the runway in Boca Raton.

From the NTSB report, emphasis added:

The takeoff roll commenced and at the calculated rotation speed (70 knots), he applied back pressure to the control column but the elevator control stuck in position. The takeoff roll continued and he performed trim adjustments, and moved the flap selector without any effect. He then aborted the takeoff by applying maximum braking and the speed brakes, and opened the canopy just before coming to rest. The airplane rolled through a fence and came to rest upright.

Rule Number One of takeoffs, and part of every pilot’s standard emergency brief is this:

Engine failure or abnormality prior to rotation — abort takeoff, throttle(s) immediately closed! Brake as required, stop straight ahead.

Do not try to fix the problem.

Do not try to fly the plane using only trim and/or flaps.

Do not pass go.

Do not collect $200.


I’ll give 100-to-one odds that the NTSB’s findings in this investigation are “pilot’s failure to promptly abort takeoff. A contributing factor was the gust lock being activated.”

posted by Chris on 22 May 2005 at 2232 in aviation


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