NTSB Identification: ANC01FA011.
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Scheduled 14 CFR FRONTIER FLYING SERVICE, INC
Accident occurred Sunday, October 22, 2000 in BETHEL, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2002
Aircraft: Beech 1900D, registration: N575D
Injuries: 19 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 Beech 1900D airplane was landing on a dry, paved, 6,398 feet long by 150 feet wide runway, which required a correction for a left crosswind. During the landing roll, and after activation of the Decoto power steering system, the airplane suddenly veered to the right. The airplane continued off the right side of the runway, into an area of soft terrain, and the nose landing gear collapsed. In a written statement to the NTSB, the captain of the accident airplane wrote, in part: "Because of the strong winds, it was necessary to engage the power steering to assist with the left turn, a normal procedure. As I engaged the power steering, which was armed by the first officer at my request, the aircraft executed an immediate right turn of approximately 45 degrees. Both the first officer and myself attempted to counter-respond the event with full left rudder and maximum left braking. All attempts were unsuccessful, causing us to exit the runway, collapsing the nose gear, and sheering the props." In the presence of NTSB and FAA investigators, extensive tests were conducted on the Decoto power steering system, and associated components. No preaccident mechanical anomalies were noted with the system. The Flight Data Recorder revealed that the crew activated the power steering system with a derived ground speed of about 40 to 50 knots. The Decoto Power Steering System flight manual supplement states: "Use of power steering is limited to taxi operations only."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flight crew's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll. A factor associated with the accident was the crew's failure to follow appropriate procedures.
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