NTSB Identification: MIA00IA164.
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Incident occurred Friday, May 19, 2000 in FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2001
Aircraft: Beech 1900C, registration: N154GA
Injuries: 22 Uninjured.

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

The 'fwd cabin door' annunciator light was inoperative and MEL'd; it was scheduled to be examined later that evening. Six discrepancies in the previous year pertaining to the forward airstair door annunciator were recorded; the latest discrepancy was 2 days earlier. The captain briefed the MEL item with the first officer (F/O), who reported closing and locking the forward airstair door, and verifying such. The F/O reported only verbally briefing the passenger adjacent to the door about the door opening procedures but did not demonstrate. After takeoff at 800 feet 800 feet msl, the forward airstair door opened. An emergency was declared, the flight returned and landed uneventfully. The propeller blades and aft cables of the forward airstair door were damaged; the door latching mechanism operated normally. The company F/O's are taught to verbally discuss with passengers the door opening procedure without demonstrating. Several of the company F/O's reported partially opening the forward airstair door to demonstrate the procedure to the passenger; accomplishing this after closing and locking the door. Post incident, the F/O was vague about how to verify that the forward airstair door is locked. The results of drug screening of the captain and FO were negative.

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

The failure of the first officer to comply with procedures and directives for his failure to assure that the forward airstair door was closed and locked. A contributing factor in the incident was the inoperative annunciation system of the forward airstair door.

Full narrative available

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