Many Factors Led to Fatal Hansa Jet Crash

 - November 17, 2006, 3:54 AM

The NTSB’s recently released final report implicates errors and FAR violations in the Nov. 30, 2004 fatal accident of a Hansa Jet moments after taking off. The crash killed both pilots, including the founder, owner and president of Toledo, Ohio-based charter operator Grand Aire Express. An FAA permit to ferry the twinjet from Spirit of St. Louis Airport to Toledo Express Airport contained several limitations with which the crew did not comply. The aircraft had not flown in the previous eight months and the pilot, prompted by an absence of airspeed indications, had aborted a takeoff about an hour before the accident flight. The pitot tubes were blown out but a required leak check was not made. Also, because the maintenance manager at Midcoast Aviation did not perform a post-maintenance operational check of the trim tabs, he failed to notice that the cables had been incorrectly reinstalled, the Safety Board said. The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was “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 terrain clearance.”