Learning From The Charlotte Crash

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Missing Links In "Safety Chain"...

When an Air Midwest Beech 1900D crashed in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2003, killing all 21 aboard, the loss of pitch control on takeoff brought it down, the NTSB said in its final report on Thursday. The loss of control was the result of incorrect rigging of the elevator control system and a center of gravity that was substantially aft of the certified aft limit. But the underlying causes were poor maintenance practices, inadequate training of mechanics and a lack of oversight by the FAA. "This accident shows how important it is for everyone involved in the safety chain to do their jobs properly," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman-Conners. Air Midwest Flight 5481, doing business as US Airways Express, crashed shortly after takeoff from Runway 18R at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Jan. 8, 2003. Two crew members and 19 passengers aboard the airplane were killed. One person on the ground received minor injuries. Impact forces and a post-crash fire destroyed the airplane.