Final Report: Trim anomaly blamed in Citation accident

 - January 31, 2007, 10:45 AM

Cessna Citation 550 Bravo, Bethany, Okla., May 20, 2002–Despite a trouble-free preflight and taxi at Wiley Post Airport, Bethany, the Citation’s nosegear failed to come off the runway on the takeoff roll. Aborting the takeoff, the pilot veered to the right to avoid hitting the localizer antennas. Skid marks measured 1,765 feet leading
to the perimeter fence that the airplane hit. The airplane was substantially damaged but only one passenger had a minor injury.

The elevator trim system was found to be 12 degrees out of trim nose-down. The flight manual calls for a preflight inspection of the right elevator and trim tab to ensure the elevator trim tab position matches its indicator. There was evidence of a previous repair of the wheel grooves with an epoxy-type substance and worn grooves were visible. The trim wheel assembly bolt had a bend in its shank. The airplane was operated by Avalon Correctional Services of Oklahoma City. Under different ownership, the airplane had sustained substantial structural damage in a previous accident.

The NTSB blamed the accident on “the anomalous elevator trim system and the pilot’s failure to note its improper setting prior to takeoff.”