Thursday, February 05, 2009

C-47 Turbo Dakota (DC-3) accident at Mojave, CA

DC-3Two pilots escaped with minor injuries after a runway accident at Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV), Mojave, CA. According to the FAA Preliminary Report about the accident, the C-47 Turbo Dakota (DC-3) veered off runway 30 at MHV, and nosed over. The FAA reports that damage to the plane was "substantial." Both crew members were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and later released.

The accident happened on February 4, 2009 at 08:52 local time. Several news reports described the accident as a "failed takeoff."

The accident caused a fuel spill on the runway. TV station KERO in Bakersfield quoted a Kern County Fire Department official who said that first responders "put down a foam blanket" around the aircraft "to prevent ignition."

The 62 year old aircraft was owned by the National Test Pilot School, which is located at Mojave. The aircraft was being used for a training flight.

[Photo Source]

UPDATE Feb 12, 2009: Aviation news website reported today that the pilots of the accident C-47 "had mistakenly set full right rudder trim on the aircraft during pre-take off actions."

Quoting officials of the National Test Pilot School, which owned the aircraft, says:
N834TP yawed to the right when the pilots, one instructor pilot from NTPS and one Korean Air Force student pilot, rotated once take off speed was achieved.

The Pratt & Whitney PT6-65AR-powered conversion became airborne but departed the side of the runway, settling back to the ground and hitting a sand berm, officials say.

The crash ripped the left gear and left engine from the 62-year-old aircraft, buckled the fuselage and destroyed the nose-mounted forward-looking infra red system turret and belly mounted air-to-ground marine patrol radar, equipment which is normally used to train pilots as well as flight test engineers at four stations in the cabin.
The aircraft is said to be damaged beyond repair.