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On May 5, 2000, at 1347 mountain daylight time, a Dehavilland DHC-6-300, N241SA, registered to and operated by Eagle Canyon Airlines, Inc., doing business as Scenic Airlines, Inc., of North Las Vegas, Nevada, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during takeoff roll at Monument Valley Airport, Monument Valley, Utah. There were no injuries to the airline transport (ATP) certificated captain and first officer, and 15 passengers. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed for the scheduled domestic passenger flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 121. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.
Flight 304 was departing runway 34 (4,000 ft. x 75 ft., dirt), en route to Grand Canyon National Park Airport. According to the accident report submitted by the company's operations director, the aircraft "was hit by wind shear from the right and then left. [The] takeoff was aborted. The aircraft veered left and directional control was lost. The aircraft departed the runway to the left, hit a dirt berm, and came to rest 30 feet and 80 degrees left of runway 34."
The following weather observations were made by the Cortez, Colorado, ASOS (Automated Surface Observing Station):
Wind, 210 degrees at 10 knots, gusts to 20 knots; visibility, greater than 10 statute miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 27 degrees C. (81 degrees F.); dew point, 10 degrees C. (50 degrees F.); altimeter setting, 29.99 inches of mercury.
The captain of flight 304 reported the following weather conditions:
Sky condition, clear; visibility, 15 miles or better; temperature, 95 degrees F.; wind, variable between 210 and 250 degrees at 5 knots with gusts to 15 knots, no precipitation.
The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) only. It was sent to NTSB's CVR laboratory for examination and readout. According to the CVR laboratory's report, "The audio on the CVR tape did not offer any information that had not been obtained through other sources in the investigation. In agreement with the investigator-in-charge, a CVR group did not convene and a transcript was not prepared."
In a telephone interview, the CVR specialist stated that only the last 5 minutes of the tape pertained to the accident flight. The engines were started and all checklists were completed. The takeoff roll was begun and then an unidentified crew member said, "Oh!" Engine noise changes were recorded and the tape ended.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Permission was given by the investigator-in-charge to move the airplane, that was partially blocking the runway, to the tiedown area next to the hangar. The on-scene investigation commenced and terminated on May 6, 2000.
Runway 34 is aligned on a magnetic heading of approximately 343 degrees. Using the run-up area as the starting point, the right main landing gear exited the right side of the runway at the 720-foot mark on a magnetic heading of 347 degrees (all distances are approximate). Tire rim chatter marks made by the left main landing gear appeared in the middle of the runway at the 810-foot mark. There was a large gouge in the tarmac at the 861-foot mark. At the 939-foot mark, both tracks veered to the left to a magnetic heading of 310 degrees. The airplane departed the left side of the runway at the 1,014-foot mark, traveled 72 feet before crossing a tiedown cable, and traveled another 126 feet before coming to rest against a dirt berm. Total distance from the run-up threshold to the final resting point was 1,062 feet (see Wreckage Diagram).
The outboard leading edge of the right wing was wrinkled and the wing tip was crushed. The nose landing gear was sheared off, and the entire nose section forward of the instrument panel was buckled. The right main tire was deflated and off the rim. The rim was scored and gouged from contact with the asphalt runway.
Other than the Federal Aviation Administration, there were no parties to the investigation.
The wreckage was released to the insurance company on May 6, 2000.