On September 14, 2000, about 2215 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N806BF, piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage to its tail section on contact with the ramp surface while standing on the ramp. The flight encountered a shift in cargo on takeoff roll, aborted its takeoff, and taxied back to the ramp at Willow Run Airport (YIP), near Belleville, Michigan, where it's tail section came to rest on the ramp following engine shutdown. The non-scheduled domestic cargo flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was uninjured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport, near Bedford, Indiana.

An Air Traffic Control Tower specialist stated:
On or about September 14, 2000, I cleared a Cessna Caravan (C208) for
takeoff and, while on the roll, the Caravan aborted stating that his load
had shifted. (I don't recall if the aircraft needed to return to the
ramp, or fixed his load on the runway). The aircraft later departed
without incident.
I don't recall the aircraft callsign or the exact time or date, but I do
recall that it was after dark and that the Caravan initially aborted

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the pilot after the accident. The inspector's record of interview stated:
[The pilot] explained that he didn't load the aircraft that someone else
had while he watched. ... According to him, prior to this incident only
three to four straps were used. ... [The pilot] went on to explain that
the cargo shifted upon the takeoff roll. The taxi to the runway was
normal but when he began the takeoff he heard a loud noise from the rear
of the aircraft and looked to see the cargo pallet resting against the
rear wall of the cargo compartment. ... Upon returning to the ramp he
shut down the engine and that's when the aircraft fell on its tail. ...
He also said that he was glad that it didn't happen after he had rotated
because he was sure that he would have been a fatal accident.

A FAA inspector interviewed a witness. The inspector's record of interview stated:
... [The witness] stated that when the aircraft sat on its tail, [the
Fixed Base Operator (FBO) there] was asked to unload the cargo, which only
had one strap holding it down, the 'D' ring had come loose from the floor
attachment, and that the cargo was still on rollers under the skid.
[The witness] stated that they initially loaded the cargo on the aircraft
only, and that the pilot was the one that secured the cargo prior to the
incident. After the incident [the FBO] un-loaded the cargo on request of
the pilot ... and then was asked to reload the cargo by [the pilot]
because the pilot stated something about a hernia. [The witness] stated
that the only way they would load the cargo on the airplane again was if
they loaded and secured the cargo per their procedures because when [the
pilot] secured the cargo he only used one strap and left the load on the
rollers. ... [The witness] stated that the plane departed the airport
with the cargo about 45 minutes after the accident.


The pilot was an airline transport pilot. He held single, multiengine, and instrument ratings with instructor ratings in the same. He held a Second Class Medical Certificate with limitations for glasses. He reported his total flight time as 4,390 hours, total time in make and model as 75.8 hours, and 71 hours in the last 30 days.


The airplane was a Cessna 208B, serial number 208B-0806. The last AAIP inspection was performed on August 29, 2000. The airplane had accumulated 29.2 hours time since its last inspection.


At 2153, the YIP weather was: Wind 290 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 12 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; altimeter 29.91 inches of mercury.


An FAA inspector acquired the double stud cargo tie down ring from the operator. The ring was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for examination.

National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory Factual Report number 01-069 stated:

Examination of the plunger revealed that there were portions of the pin in
each end of the pin hole. The portion that would have retained the plunger
over the body was missing. ...

The distance from the lowest point on the plunger pin ... to the underside
of the plunger ... was measured and found to be 0.684 inches.

The fracture face, [of one of the roll pins], displayed a shiny granular
appearance typical of a brittle fracture. ...

The side view ... illustrates the plunger in its lowest position
with the pin contacting the bottom of the stud body hole .... In this
position there is a gap of 0.09 inches between the bottom of the plunger
... and the bottom of the stud body ... . (See appended National
Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory Factual Report number 01-


The parties to the investigation included the FAA and Telair International.

The aircraft's tie down ring was returned to Thunder Aviation.

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