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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Friday 10 February 1978
Time:16:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE99 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 99 Airliner
Operator:Columbia Pacific Airlines
Registration: N199EA
C/n / msn: U-37
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:13701
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:0,5 km (0.3 mls) N of Richland Airport, WA (RLD) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Richland Airport, WA (RLD), United States of America
Destination airport:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA/KSEA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 23
Narrative:
The aircraft lifted off at a point of 1173 feet-1486 feet down runway 36 and was then seen to begin a steep climb at an angle of 20-45deg. to 300 feet-400 feet height. The plane then turned left and descended nose-down at a flightpath angle of about 45deg. until it struck the ground 1669 feet past the runway end and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure and inability of the flightcrew to prevent rapid pitchup and stall by exerting sufficient push force on the control wheel. The pitchup was induced by the combination of a mistrimmed horizontal stabilizer and a center of gravity near the aircraft's aft limit. The mistrimmed condition resulted from discrepancies in the aircraft's trim system and the flightcrew's probable preoccupation with making a timely departure. Additionally a, malfunctioning stabilizer trim actuator detracted from the flightcrew's efforts to prevent the stall.
Contributing to the accident were inadequate flightcrew training, inadequate trim warning system check procedures, inadequate maintenance procedures, and ineffective FAA surveillance."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-78-15
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» NTSB-AAR-78-15


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 8 Safety Recommendations

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Richland Airport, WA to Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA as the crow flies is 260 km (162 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Beech 99

  • 239 built
  • 14th loss
  • 8th fatal accident
  • The worst accident
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