NTSB says Unlimited Division inspectors found trim tab problem before Air Races crash

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Updated: 8/22/2012 7:43 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – In hundreds of pages of information released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board about the 2011 deadly crash at the National Championship Races, it was revealed through the NTSB Group Chairman’s Factual Report that Unlimited Division inspectors found a problem with the aircraft’s trim tab before the fateful race. That’s the same piece of equipment mentioned in an earlier news conference as a possible preliminary cause for the wreck.

“According to interviews with the technical inspectors and the crew, the trim tab squawk was due to one or more screws on the right elevator trim tab not having enough threads protruding from the nut and there was an area washer missing in the wheel well,”  NTSB Aerospace Engineer Clinton Crookshanks wrote. “The squawks were reportedly both addressed by the crew and the airplane was approved to race on the course.”

Crookshanks goes on to write “There was no written procedure or sign off to ensure the squawks were addressed.”

CEO and President of the Air Races Mike Houghton declined an interview until the NTSB’s full report is released on Monday; however, he said starting this year the Air Races will require written proof all inspection issues were fixed. Also the Federal Aviation Agency will now have the final sign off to approve planes for flight, as opposed to the teams’ mechanics who did that in the past.

While the official cause of the crash won’t be released until Monday, another NTSB investigator writes in the Aircraft Performance Study: “Both mechanisms for initiating the left roll transient require that the aircraft trim tab structure be compromised by looseness of the screws.”

There are many more details in these new documents currently being researched by News 4. As soon as we know more information, it will be passed straight on to you on MyNews4.com and News 4 at 4, 5, and 6.
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MX304 - 8/22/2012 10:25 AM
1 Vote
It also clearly states that investigators do not know for sure what caused the flutter, or separation of the trim tab. The screw issue was repaired. You need to start reporting facts and stop the witch hunt against the races.
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