NTSB Identification: SEA97LA085.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. UNITED EXPRESS )
Accident occurred Sunday, April 06, 1997 in PORTLAND, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Beech 1900D, registration: N75ZV
Injuries: 14 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The ramp agent handling the flight, who is required by company procedures to check doors secured during a pre-departure check, stated, '...upon my releasing them to taxi I did not notice anything different, all doors were closed.' The captain reported that as the gear was brought up on takeoff, the flightcrew heard a 'loud wind noise.' He stated that they had no indications of anything wrong on the annunciator panel (which contains a red CARGO DOOR warning light to indicate that the cargo door is open or not secure.) He reported that they then looked in the back of the aircraft, and the passengers told them that the cargo door had come open. The crew then returned to land. An inventory of the cargo compartment contents after landing revealed that no baggage had been lost. During postaccident examination of the aircraft, the aft cargo door locking handle was observed in the unlocked position as the door was swung down, and visual inspection of the aft cargo door locks, switches, and annunciator cargo door warning systems found no discrepancies with the aft cargo door or its indicating/warning system.

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

the flightcrew's inadequate preflight, and the ramp agent's inadequate dispatch of the aircraft. The unsecured cargo door was a factor.

Full narrative available

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