Ten Perish in Addison Airport Accident

This Falcon was one of two aircraft damaged when the King Air struck a hangar. Anonymous Source

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were in place at Addison Airport, Texas (ADS) by early Sunday evening to begin their evidence collection duties surrounding the crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air 350 at 9:11 a.m. that morning. All 10 people on board the turboprop – two pilots and eight passengers – died in the accident from post-impact forces when the aircraft struck a private hangar on the southeast side of the airport. The aircraft itself was destroyed by a post-impact fire. Weather does not initially appear to have been a factor in the accident. The King Air's cockpit voice recorder has been recovered and sent on to the NTSB lab in Washington, D.C. The aircraft was not required to carry a flight data recorder.

Damage to the hangar could have been much worse if first responders had been further away. Anonymous Source

Prior to takeoff on Runway 15, the King Air’s flight crew picked up an IFR clearance from ADS to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the Part 91 flight. Witnesses said the aircraft veered left almost immediately after takeoff, suggesting a left engine failure or other directional control problem. The airplane's landing gear was still down when the King Air struck the hangar.

The privately-owned hangar where the stricken aircraft ended up normally houses a pair of business jets and a helicopter owned by a local Texas oil and gas producer. The hangar’s largest aircraft, a Boeing BBJ, was not inside at the time of the accident. A Falcon and helicopter inside were damaged during the fire. Overall damage to the hangar appears modest, perhaps because the airport’s fire department sat only a few hundred yards from the accident site.

A local pilot who witnessed the accident Sunday morning told the NTSB, "The sounds I heard from the King Air on takeoff were not correct." He also said that while it sounded as though both engines were running, they sounded as if they were not operating at full power.

The NTSB’s vice-chairman Bruce Landsberg told reporters Sunday night that eight Board members were on-scene at the airport with five more expected on Monday to complete the initial fact-gathering stage. The Board will be looking into the flight crew’s qualifications and experience, as well as the maintenance records of the aircraft. He also said the Board was in possession of three videos that appeared to capture the accident.

While the FAA’s ASIAS system reported the King Air’s tail number as N534FF, the agency’s tail-number registration database showed that same number as unassigned. Landsburg said the reason might be related to the aircraft having recently changed hands after being owned by a Chicago-area charter company. A preliminary report on the accident is expected by the middle of July.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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