NTSB Identification: DEN03IA054.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. Skywest Airlines)
Incident occurred Sunday, March 16, 2003 in Cedar City, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Embraer EMB-120ER, registration: N214SW
Injuries: 15 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 captain reported they coordinated with ATC to expedite their takeoff due to the poor weather conditions. Following de-icing, the crew taxied the airplane from the ramp to the runway and began their takeoff roll. The captain said that everything was fine initially. When the airplane passed the 7,000 foot remaining marker, it began tracking left. The captain said he tried to correct the situation with rudder and differential power, but the airplane continued to track left. The captain said, "I lost control of the situation when the left mains got into the soft earth at the edge of the runway." The first officer reported that just after they had advanced the power levels forward, the Ice Condition light illuminated. The first officer notified the captain. The first officer stated that the airplane was pulling to the left. The first officer said the captain was attempting to correct the condition when the airplane pulled hard left. The airplane was straddling the runway lights. The first officer said the captain aborted the takeoff. The first officer said that with braking, they slid off the runway and slowly spun to the left leaving the airplane facing east when it stopped. The airport manager reported that at the time of the incident, the runway was covered with 1 to 1-1/2 inches of snow and slush. An examination of the airplane's tire tracks in the snow showed the airplane began its takeoff roll to the left of the runway centerline. The tracks proceeded further left of centerline as they proceeded down the runway until they were off the left side of the runway. An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies. The reported weather at the time of the incident was ceilings 400 feet broken, 1,100 feet overcast, visibility 1/2 mile, snow and fog, temperature and dew point 32 degrees F, and an altimeter setting of 29.59 inches of Mercury.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: the captain's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff. Factors contributing to the accident were the crew's diverted attention, the snow and slush-covered runway, the fog, and the runway marker. Full narrative available
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