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Last updated: 27 November 2021
Date:Sunday 3 October 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic L18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Howard 250
Operator:American Airpower Heritage Museum
Registration: N6371C
MSN: 18-2598
First flight: 1943
Total airframe hrs:8999
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-72A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Midland International Airport, TX (MAF) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Midland International Airport, TX (MAF/KMAF), United States of America
Destination airport:Boulder Municipal Airport, CO (WBU/KBDU), United States of America
The Howard 250, a converted Lockheed L-18, was prepared for takeoff from Midland following the conclusion of the Fina-CAF AirSho. The aircraft was cleared for a runway 34L departure with winds at 160 deg. /10 kts. Shortly after starting the takeoff roll the airplane began to swerve to the right. Using the rudder the captain was able to correct back to the centerline. The airplane then swerved to the left and using full right rudder the captain reported that he could not arrest the left turn. By the time the airplane reached the left side of the runway, the airplane had not reached the V2 speed (minimum takeoff safety speed) of 110 knots. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, became airborne and shortly thereafter, the right wing dipped and contacted the ground. The airplane then spun 180 degrees, impacted the terrain, and slid backwards coming to rest in an upright position.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff. Contributing factors were the choice of runway used and the prevailing tailwind."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 277 days (9 months)
Accident number: FTW05LA003
Download report: Summary report

Runway excursion

» Midland Reporter Telegram, NTSB


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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 Midland International Airport, TX to Boulder Municipal Airport, CO as the crow flies is 934 km (584 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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