NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


April 24, 2003

Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a 2-day en banc public hearing, in which all five Board Members will participate, as part of its ongoing investigation into the fatal crash of Air Midwest flight 5481 at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. The hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m. on May 20th at the NTSB's Board Room And Conference Center at 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C., and is expected to last 2 days but may continue into a third day.

"Having a hearing to discuss Air Midwest flight 5481 is extremely important at this stage of the investigation," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman, who will chair the hearing. "We use this as an opportunity to gain knowledge from the experts who deal with these issues on a daily basis."

On January 8, 2003, Air Midwest flight 5481 (d.b.a. US Airways Express), a Beech 1900, crashed shortly after takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. There were 19 passengers and 2 crewmembers on board the aircraft. Impact forces and fire destroyed the aircraft; there were no survivors.

As a result of the investigation to date, staff intends to further develop information regarding maintenance issues, including company and contract operations, training, surveillance, management, and oversight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will have the opportunity to provide information regarding passenger weights and airplane loading.

Questioning the witnesses will be the five NTSB Members, a technical panel of NTSB investigators, and representatives of the following parties to the hearing: FAA, Raytheon Aircraft, Raytheon Aerospace, Air Midwest, International Association of Machinists (IAM), Structural Modification and Repair Technicians, Inc. (SMART), and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

Information from the hearing will be used by the Safety Board to prepare a final report on the accident, including safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar accidents in the future.

NTSB Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.