FB 320 Hansa, Chesterfield, Mo., Nov. 30, 2004–The NTSB labeled the maintenance facility’s failure to properly install and inspect the elevator trim system, resulting in a reversed elevator trim condition, and the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the terrain the probable cause of the Hansa jet accident. Contributing factors included the dark night and low ceiling.
Taking off from Spirit of St. Louis Airport at 7:56 p.m. on a maintenance ferry flight on a special flight permit, the Grand Aire Express jet crashed into the Missouri River two miles from the airport. The two pilots were killed. The permit stated that all IFR equipment must be working. The pilot knew that checks required for the permit had not been performed, but he asked maintenance personnel to disconnect the lines to the pitot tubes and blow out the tubes. No leak check, as required by FAR 91.411, was performed. The pilot had aborted a takeoff earlier because he had no airspeed indications. After the accident, the elevator trim cables were found to be installed improperly.