NTSB: Wrong Rudder Input Led To King Air Fatal Crash

 - May 19, 2021, 10:56 AM

According to an NTSB final report issued yesterday, the pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control following reduced thrust in the left engine on takeoff from Addison (Texas) Airport led to the fatal crash of a Beechcraft King Air 350 on June 30, 2019. Both pilots and the eight passengers were killed in the accident.

After the left engine lost thrust several seconds after takeoff, “the pilot responded with left rudder input, the opposite action of what the emergency called for,” the report noted. Moments later, the pilot applied right rudder but by that point the airplane was rolling inverted, with “insufficient altitude for recovery.” The airplane would have been controllable had the pilot initially applied right rudder input, the Safety Board concluded.

CVR audio revealed that the pilots did not use any before-takeoff checklists, nor did they discuss what they would do in the case of engine failure on takeoff. “The pilot’s failure to follow checklists and adhere to the airplane manufacturer’s emergency procedures contributed to the accident,” the NTSB added.

NTSB investigators could not determine the reason for the thrust reduction, including whether incorrectly set thrust lever friction locks might have played a role in the loss of power. But the agency noted that “friction lock settings are one of the items in a pre-takeoff checklist the pilots didn’t use.”