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Failure to use checklists factor in King Air loss of control accident
19 May 2021

The failure of a pilot to control an airplane following the loss of thrust in one of two engines just seconds after takeoff led to the fatal crash of a Beechcraft King Air 350i in Texas, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report.

The King Air crashed into an aircraft hangar 17 seconds after lifting off a runway at Addison Airport, Addison, Texas, June 30, 2019. The accident killed both pilots and all eight passengers.

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The NTSB said in its report that after the left engine lost almost all thrust several seconds after takeoff, the pilot responded to the emergency with left rudder input, the opposite action of what the emergency called for. Seconds later, the pilot applied right rudder but by that point the airplane was rolling inverted, and there was insufficient altitude for recovery.

Investigators determined that had the pilot initially applied right rudder input, the airplane would have been controllable.

The audio from the cockpit voice recorder revealed the pilots did not call for any of the checklists that would typically be used before takeoff, nor did they discuss what they would do in the case of a loss of engine thrust on takeoff or any other emergency procedure. The NTSB said the pilot’s failure to follow checklists and adhere to the airplane manufacturer’s emergency procedures contributed to the accident.

A detailed examination of the left engine and its control systems found no condition that would have prevented normal operation. The NTSB noted that there was a known risk of an unintentional movement of an engine power lever if its friction lock was adjusted incorrectly. Friction lock settings are one of the items in a pre-takeoff checklist the pilot failed to use.

Investigators were unable to determine if the friction lock settings played a role in the loss of thrust on the left engine. The cause for loss of engine thrust could not be determined.

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