NTSB Identification: LAX91FA324.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46029.
Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 1991 in GRANADA HILLS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/1992
Aircraft: BEECH 95-C55, registration: N77CQ
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

DURING A VISUAL APPROACH TO THE AIRPORT, THE TOWER CONTROLLER NOTICED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS HIGH, AND INSTRUCTED THE PILOT TO GO AROUND AND ENTER A RIGHT DOWNWIND. REPEATED INSTRUCTIONS TO TURN TO DOWNWIND BROUGHT NO RESPONSE UNTIL A TURN WAS FINALLY INITIATED. AT THAT TIME THE PILOT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY, REPORTING THAT HE WAS HOLDING FULL BACK ELEVATOR, TRYING TO KEEP THE AIRPLANE IN THE AIR, AND THAT IT LOOKED LIKE HIS ELEVATORS WERE STUCK. THE AIRPLANE CONTINUED AWAY FROM THE AIRPORT AND ENTERED A NEAR VERTICAL HIGH SPEED DESCENT INTO A STORAGE BUILDING. INVESTIGATION REVEALED BOTH ELEVATOR TRIM ACTUATORS AT A 4 DEG NOSE DOWN TRIM POSITION, AND EVIDENCE INDICATES A 40 DEG DOWN ELEVATOR POSITION. NO MALFUNCTION OF THE ENGINES OR FLIGHT CONTROLS WERE FOUND. THE AUTOPILOT SYSTEM CONTROL MODULE WAS DESTROYED. THE PILOT HAD RECEIVED 7 HOURS OF TRAINING IN THE AIRPLANE, AND HAD 20 HOURS TOTAL TIME IN THE AIRPLANE.

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

A LOSS OF DIRECTIONAL CONTROL FOLLOWING AN UNDETERMINED AUTOPILOT FAILURE, DURING WHICH THE PILOT FAILED TO PERFORM THE EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO CORRECT A MIS-TRIM CONDITION. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS A PERCEIVED ELEVATOR CONTROL PROBLEM; THE INABILITY OF THE PILOT TO OVERPOWER THE MIS-TRIM CONDITION; AND A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND TRAINING IN AUTOPILOT SYSTEMS AND FAILURES.

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