NTSB Identification: DCA89MA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40192.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of USAIR
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 20, 1989 in FLUSHING, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/1992
Aircraft: BOEING 737-400, registration: N416US
Injuries: 2 Fatal,3 Serious,18 Minor,40 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

AS THE FIRST OFFICER BEGAN THE TAKEOFF HE FELT THE AIRPLANE DRIFT RIGHT. THE CAPT NOTICED THE DRIFT ALSO & USED NOSEWHEEL TILLER TO HELP STEER. THE CREW THEN HEARD A 'BANG' AND A CONTINUAL RUMBLING NOISE. THE CAPT THEN TOOK OVER & REJECTED THE TAKEOFF BUT DID NOT STOP THE AIRPLANE BEFORE RUNNING OFF THE END OF THE RWY AND COLLIDING WITH A WOODEN APPROACH LIGHTING PIER. THE AIRPLANE CAME TO REST PARTIALLY SUBMERGED IN WATER. THE RUDDER TRIM POSITION WAS FOUND TO BE 16 DEG, OR FULL, LEFT DEFLECTION OF RUDDER. THE DFDR RECORDED THIS POSITION FROM ENGINE START AT THE GATE. (NTSB/AAR-90/03)

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

THE CAPTAIN'S FAILURE TO EXERCISE HIS COMMAND AUTHORITY IN A TIMELY MANNER TO REJECT THE TAKEOFF OR TAKE SUFFICIENT CONTROL TO CONTINUE THE TAKEOFF, WHICH WAS INITIATED WITH A MISTRIMMED RUDDER. ALSO CAUSAL WAS THE CAPTAIN'S FAILURE TO DETECT THE MISTRIMMED RUDDER BEFORE THE TAKEOFF WAS ATTEMPTED.

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