NTSB Identification: ERA09LA529
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of CHAMPLAIN ENTERPRISES INC (D.B.A. CommutAir)
Accident occurred Saturday, August 29, 2009 in
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: BOMBARDIER INC DHC-8-202, registration: N367PH
Injuries: Unavailable

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

On an unknown date and at an unknown time, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the bottom of the fuselage tail section. The damage was found during a maintenance C-check inspection on August 29, 2009. The damage was found when maintenance personnel were inspecting the inside of the tail section and noticed bowing and bending in the support structure and damage to nearby rivets. The damage was consistent with tail strike damage and had resulted in a puncture of the pressure vessel of the airplane. According to the maintenance task cards for different inspections of the airplane, an exterior inspection was to be completed prior to any other work. At least three exterior inspections were completed within the weeks preceding the discovery of the damage, including the inspection in which the damage was discovered. Each inspection required examination of the damaged area. Because maintenance personnel likely missed the damage during these inspections, pilots performing preflight checks of the airplane would be just as likely to miss the damage. Due to the height of the damage personnel would likely need to bend down in order to see it.

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

Undetermined.

Full narrative available

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