NTSB Identification: LAX96FA228.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 06, 1996 in SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: British Aerospace BA-3100/3201, registration: N926AE
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The first officer, who was 6 months past due for a proficiency check in the aircraft, was in the left seat for the ferry flight and applied power on takeoff. At 40 knots he transitioned from tiller to rudder steering while the captain was setting takeoff power. Moments later the crew felt the aircraft jerk to the left. The captain took the controls and brought both power levers back to flight idle and then into reverse. The captain attempted to control the aircraft but did not have access to the tiller from his position in the aircraft. Full application of rudder and differential braking could not bring the aircraft under control as it veered off the left side of the runway, then back to the right edge. Following the accident, the nose wheel steering, brakes, and propellers were functionally tested in accordance with the aircraft maintenance manuals, with no discrepancies noted. The FDR showed that the airspeed peaked at 58 knots. The rudder effectiveness increases incrementally from 40 knots IAS to full authority at 70 knots. A CVR tape sound spectrum analysis revealed that the left engine was in the start lock position during the takeoff. Normal procedure after engine start is to bring the props into reverse momentarily to bring them out of the start locks. There is no cockpit indicator for the position of the propellers relative to the start locks.

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

The flight crew's loss of directional control resulting from an attempted takeoff with the left propeller on the start lock. Factors in the accident were: the lack of cockpit caution/warning system/lights available to verify that the propellers are out of the start locks; and the captain's location in the right seat without access to the nosewheel steering tiller.

Full narrative available

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