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Cause of Embraer 145-ER Air Crash in Beaumont, TEXAS, USA on 2/11/1998

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Final Report on Probabable Cause of Crash


On February 11, 1998, at 1216 central standard time, an Embraer EMB-145ER regional jet airplane, N14931, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground following a loss of control during takeoff from runway 30 at the Jefferson County Regional Airport in Beaumont, Texas. The aircraft was registered to First Security Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah, and operated by Continental Express of Houston, Texas. Flight number 910 was being conducted as an aircrew training and proficiency check flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot-in-command (PIC) was not injured; the first officer (FO) received serious injuries; the check airman who was seated in the cockpit jump seat received minor injuries; and another FO seated in the cabin received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was filed.

The check airman who occupied the jump seat was the Continental Express program manager for the EMB-145. He was observing the PIC seated in the left seat who was administering a proficiency check to the FO in the right seat. The check airman was planning to recommend the PIC for observation by the FAA to approve him as a check airman in the EMB-145. The FO who was seated in the cabin had completed his flight earlier with the PIC, and during his flight, there were no reported mechanical problems with the aircraft.

The following information was derived from flight crew interviews and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcripts:

The proficiency check flight began with "high work" which included stall recognition, steep turns, holding patterns and other required air work, before the flight progressed to approach and landing maneuvers. The PIC stated that the FO was initially "a little nervous", but was getting comfortable. The check airman who was observing stated that the FO's "high work was very good, very acceptable, a good solid ride." After the air work, the FO completed a coupled ILS approach to runway 12 with a missed approach. He then performed a VOR-A approach and made a full stop landing. The PIC stated that the approach and landing were both satisfactory. The check airman stated that the landing was on centerline and in the touchdown zone.

After the landing, the airplane was taxied to runway 30 for takeoff. When the control tower cleared the flight into "position and hold," the PIC transferred control of the airplane to the FO and said, "your aircraft." The check airman suspected a "V1 cut was coming" so he checked that both crewmembers' feet were positioned correctly on the rudder pedals. The FO then set the throttle levers to the takeoff detent and called, "set thrust." The PIC saw that both engines had the proper thrust and responded, "thrust set." The airplane accelerated normally and the PIC called, "eighty knots," which the FO acknowledged. When the PIC called "V1," the FO removed his hand from the throttles and the PIC placed his hands on the throttles. The PIC then pulled the left, (number one engine) throttle to idle. The check airman noticed that the throttle was retarded smoothly.

The FO called, "check max thrust," and then called, "positive rate gear up." The PIC reached for the gear lever and noticed the airplane roll to the left at a rate which he felt was "excessive and dangerous." He then reached for the flight controls and felt the left rudder "go all the way to the floor." The PIC "got his hands on the controls when it felt like the left wing quit flying." He felt like the airplane was going to roll on its back and that all he could do "to save our lives was to level the wings." He felt the stick shaker and thinks he may have felt the stick pusher. The PIC stated that the FO initially put in the wrong rudder and then tried to correct his mistake by putting in more "wrong rudder." The PIC applied full right aileron and full right rudder as "fast" as he could and felt that the bank angle had exceeded "sixty degrees" but did not recall hearing the "bank and angle" warning. The PIC stated that the airplane began recovering from the bank and may have been nearly wings level when it impacted the ground. He stated that the airplane impacted first on the left wing, then the right wing, then slid to a stop.

The FO stated that as soon as he felt the airplane yaw to the left, due to the reduction of the left throttle, he applied "a little right rudder and a little right aileron." He stated that the yoke "felt a little soft and didn't feel right in roll and pitch." He also stated that when the left wing started dipping, he "added" right aileron and rudder. The FO stated that he heard the PIC say "my airplane," and "let go" of the controls and the PIC took control. The FO stated that the first bank "was not that steep," but after the PIC took control "the airplane banked a second time worse than the first." The FO stated that to his best recollection his hands and feet were off the controls during the second bank.

The check airman stated that the airplane rotated for takeoff "normally," but when the left throttle was retarded, the airplane began to roll and yaw to the left. He stated that the airplane began to correct toward wings level and may have been slightly right wing low prior to impact. He stated that the airplane hit the ground, bounced airborne, then impacted and slid to a stop.


The PIC, who occupied the left cockpit seat, was employed by Continental Express on May 22, 1994. While at Continental, he flew as an FO on the ATR-42 and Brasilia and as PIC on the Beechcraft BE-1900 and the Embraer EMB-145. He estimated that he accumulated approximately 350 hours on the ATR-42, 1,200 hours on the Brasilia, 800 hours on the BE-1900, and 500 hours on the EMB-145. He was type rated on the EMB-145 on July 31, 1997 and was selected as a check-airman while he was in EMB-145 training. Continental had asked him to be a check-airman on the BE-1900, but he declined in order to upgrade to the EMB-145 as soon as possible. He was qualified as an "off-line aircraft instructor" authorized to conduct flight training in the EMB-145. He had about 8 previous students who had all successfully completed flight training in the EMB-145.

The FO, who occupied the right cockpit seat, was the pilot at the controls at the onset of the accident. He was employed by Continental Express on October 7,1996. Prior to training on the EMB-145, he flew as an FO on the ATR-42/72 for Continental Express. He estimated that his total flight time was approximately 1,900 hours with about 800-860 hours on the ATR 42/72. His total flight time in the EMB-145 was 15 hours. His total flight time in the last 90 days was 15 hours, all of which were in the actual aircraft. He had completed EMB-145 ground school.

The check airman, who occupied the jump seat, was employed by Continental Express on March 12, 1990. At the time of the accident he was the EMB-145 Program Manager. He described the position as being the "lead check-airman." The FAA had approved him as a check airman on February 15, 1997. He estimated his total flying time as approximately 10,800 hours, with about 700-800 hours in the EMB-145. The FAA appointed him as a designated examiner on the EMB-145, which authorized him to give type ratings. He estimated that he had given approximately 20-25 type rating check rides on the EMB-145 and had disapproved at least 5 of these candidates for type ratings.

In an interview with the check airman in his capacity as EMB-145 Program Manager for Continental Express, he stated that he had experienced two situations similar to the accident in previous training sessions on the EMB-145. Both occasions had occurred during "V1 cuts." He stated that he was not certain of what caused the first situation, but that the second was caused when the student pilot applied the wrong rudder. He stated that in both instances he was able to prevent an accident by taking control of the airplane and reducing the angle of attack. He reiterated that "the key thing was to reduce the angle of attack even though it may be

Initial Report

The pilot-in-command (PIC) was administering a proficiency check flight to the first officer (FO) in a regional jet. One of the required check items was the loss of an engine at "V1" speed. While on takeoff roll with the FO at the controls, the PIC retarded the left engine throttle to idle when "V1" speed was attained. The FO called, "check max thrust," and then called, "positive rate gear up." As the PIC reached for the gear lever, he noticed the airplane roll to the left at a rate which he felt was "excessive and dangerous." He then reached for the flight controls and felt the left rudder "go all the way to the floor." As the PIC took control of the airplane, he applied full right rudder and right aileron. The airplane began recovering from the bank and impacted the ground. Flight recorder data revealed that the time interval between the throttle retarded to idle and ground impact was about 8 seconds. The data showed that the airplane became airborne about 2 seconds after the throttle was retarded, and that the airplane had rolled to a 71 degree left bank within 6 seconds from the throttle reduction. Ground scars and wreckage distribution revealed that the left wing had contacted the ground first and then the right wing prior to the airplane coming to rest. The FO had a total of 15 hours in the type aircraft in the last 90 days. Examinations of the airframe, engines, and flight control system did not reveal any anomalies that could have contributed to the accident. Company flight training policy stated that all check airmen should be ready to take control of the airplane while practicing these types of training maneuvers.

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1998 - Embraer TEXAS

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