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Last updated: 2 December 2021
Datum:Dienstag 25 April 2000
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic SF34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Saab 340B
Fluggesellschaft:Northwest Airlink
Kennzeichen: N404XJ
Werknummer: 340B-404
Baujahr: 1996
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 3
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 18
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 21
Sachschaden: schwer beschädigt
Konsequenzen: Repaired
Unfallort:Hancock-Houghton County Airport, MI (CMX) (   USA)
Flugphase: Start (TOF)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Hancock-Houghton County Airport, MI (CMX/KCMX), USA
Flug nach:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP), USA
A Saab 340B, N404XJ, operated by Mesaba Airlines as Northwest Airlink flight 3233, collided with two deer during a takeoff ground run at the Hancock-Houghton Memorial Airport, Michigan. The Captain, First Officer, Flight Attendant, and 18 passengers were not injured. The airplane received substantial damage.
The first officer (flying pilot) reported that during the takeoff run, the captain noticed a group of about seven deer approaching the runway. The first officer aborted the takeoff; however, the airplane contacted two deer which ran onto the runway. The deer contacted the left engine/propeller which automatically shut down. The airplane then taxied to the gate without further incident.
The collision occurred approximately 3,000 feet down the runway which was 6,501 feet long and 150 feet wide, just prior to the airplane reaching V1.
The operator reported the left engine gearbox was damaged. The engine compressor case was cracked 120 degrees around its circumference. Two propeller blades completely separated from the hub. The forward portion of the engine nacelle was twisted and the longerons which attach the nacelle to the wing were cracked.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The deer which ran onto the runway and were subsequently struck by the airplane."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: CHI00LA124
Download report: Summary report



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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 Hancock-Houghton County Airport, MI to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN as the crow flies is 441 km (276 miles).

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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