ANC00IA034
ANC00IA034

On March 7, 2000, about 0615 Alaska standard time, the crew of N949AS, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 airplane, reported a flight control anomaly during takeoff from the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska. The flight was being conducted under Title 14, CFR Part 121, as a scheduled domestic passenger flight, operated by Alaska Airlines, Inc., as Flight 92. There were no injuries to the two pilots, three flight attendants, or the 112 passengers aboard. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan had been filed for the flight to Anchorage, Alaska.

After an uneventful landing at Anchorage International Airport, the captain reported to his company maintenance personal that during the takeoff roll on runway 19R in Fairbanks, the airplane's rotation was slightly delayed by about 3 or 4 knots, and required about 30 to 35 pounds of control column back pressure in order to complete the takeoff. He added that once the airplane was established on a standard rate of climb, there were no further anomalies noted. The captain added that a flight attendant, seated at the forward "A" position, heard a loud "pinging" noise coming from just under her feet, during the takeoff in Fairbanks.

The closest official weather observation station is located at the Fairbanks International Airport. On March 7, at 0553, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: Sky conditions and ceiling, clear; visibility, 10 statute miles; wind, 030 degrees at 7 knots; temperature, 8 degrees F; dew point 1 degree F.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on March 10, the director of flight safety for the operator reported that upon arrival in Anchorage, it was discovered that an additional 500 pounds of cargo and baggage had inadvertently been loaded into the forward cargo bay. He added that a postincident review of the airplane's weight and balance computations revealed that the airplane remained within the center of gravity limits, but added that it may have accounted for the slight delay in the airplane rotation speed.

The incident airplane underwent an extensive inspection and evaluation of the flight control system, and no flight control anomalies were discovered by company maintenance personnel.

The airplane's flight data recorder (FDR) was removed for analysis by the operator. The operator reported that the FDR readout showed that the flight control system operated normally during the entire flight. The pilot's control column position was a recorded parameter of the incident airplane's FDR.

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