NTSB Identification: SEA97FA188.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 13, 1997 in SEATTLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/1999
Aircraft: Beech 1900C, registration: N3172A
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 Beech 1900C cargo aircraft was loaded with more than 4,962 pounds of cargo during an approximate 20 minute period. No scale was available at the aircraft, forcing loaders to rely on tallying either waybill weights or estimates of total cargo weight and center of gravity (CG) during the brief loading period. Additionally, a strike had shut down a major cargo competitor at the time with substantial cargo overflow to the operator. Post-crash examination determined the cargo load was 656 pounds greater than that documented on the pilot's load manifest, and the CG was between 6.8 and 11.3 inches aft of the aft limit. The airplane behaved normally, according to the pilot, until he initiated full flaps for landing approaching the threshold of runway 34L at the Seattle-Tacoma International airport. At this time, the aircraft's airspeed began to decay rapidly and a high sink rate developed as the aircraft entered into a stall/mush condition. The aircraft then landed hard, overloading the nose and left-main landing gear which collapsed. A post-impact fuel system leak during the ground slide led to a post-crash fire.

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

A stall/mush condition resulting from an aft center of gravity which was inaccurately provided to the pilot-in-command by contractual cargo-loading personnel. Additional causes were overloading of the aircraft's landing gear and fuel leakage resulting in a post-crash fire. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's improper lowering of flaps in an aft CG situation and the inadequate company procedures for cargo loading.

Full narrative available

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