NTSB Identification: DCA94MA033.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE )
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 01, 1994 in NEW ROADS, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/1995
Aircraft: Saab-Scania AB (Saab) 340B, registration: N349SB
Injuries: 1 Minor,25 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WHILE DESCENDING FOR LANDING AT BATON ROUGE, THE CAPTAIN ACTIVELY MOVED THE POWER LEVERS FROM THE FLIGHT IDLE GATE INTO THE BETA RANGE FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS. THE PROPELLERS AND ENGINES EXPERIENCED EXTREME OVERSPEED, NECESSITATING A POWER-OFF EMERGENCY LANDING AT NIGHT AND THE AIRPLANE RAN OFF THE END OF A 5,000-FT RUNWAY. ALTHOUGH THE DESIGN AND CERTIFICATION OF THE POWER LEVERS MET EXISTING REQUIREMENTS, THOSE REQUIREMENTS WERE INADEQUATE BECAUSE THEY PERMITTED A DESIGN THAT DID NOT PREVENT MOVEMENT INTO THE BETA RANGE IN FLIGHT. THE AIRFRAME & ENGINE INDUSTRY, THE FAA, AND THE CERTIFICATION AUTHORITIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES WERE SLOW IN REACTING TO SEVERAL PREVIOUS IN-FLIGHT BETA OCCURRENCES THAT LED TO SERIOUS INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE CAPTAIN'S MOVEMENT OF THE POWER LEVERS BELOW FLIGHT IDLE IN FLIGHT, THE INADEQUATE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND CONSEQUENT DESIGN OF THE AIRPLANE'S POWER LEVERS THAT PERMITTED THEM TO BE MOVED BELOW THE FLIGHT IDLE POSITION INTO THE BETA RANGE, EITHER INTENTIONALLY OR INADVERTENTLY, WHILE IN FLIGHT, AND THE INADEQUATE ACTION TAKEN TO REQUIRE A POSITIVE MEANS TO PREVENT BETA OPERATION ON AIRPLANES FOR WHICH SUCH OPERATION IS PROHIBITED. (NTSB REPORT AAR=94/06)

Full narrative available

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