Tipping the Scales: The crash of Air Midwest flight 5481

Smoke billows up over Charlotte Douglas International Airport after the crash. Image source: Wikimedia commons
An Air Midwest Beechcraft 1900D, painted in USAir Express livery, similar to the aircraft involved in the accident. Image source: Wikimedia commons
The basic components of a Beechcraft 1900D elevator cable. (Own work)
How to correctly re-tension a Beechcraft 1900D elevator cable. (Own work)
How the Raytheon mechanics performed the re-tensioning procedure. (Own work)
Actual elevator positions vs. what the FDR recorded. Had the mechanics attempted to calibrate the FDR, they would have noticed the problem. Image source: the NTSB
The route of AIr Midwest flight 5481. Map source: Google
How center of gravity is calculated. Image source: Wikimedia commons
The black line denotes the weight and CG limit for the Beechcraft 1900D. Overlayed are the plane’s calculated weight/CG and its actual weight/CG. (NTSB)
A simulation of flight 5481’s brief flight. Video source: Mayday (Cineflix)
Smoke billows up over Charlotte Douglas International Airport after the crash. Image source: Wikimedia commons
Yellow tarps cover human remains at the crash site. Image source: planecrashinfo.com
Officials observe the mangled wreckage of flight 5481. Image source: the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives
Firefighters thoroughly doused the wreckage to ensure that spot fires didn’t reignite. Image source: Rob Brisley
The result of a passenger weight survey at 15 airlines. Image source: the NTSB
The crash ignited a short-lived grass fire in an adjacent field. Image source: the International Aviation Safety Association
Updates on the investigation made front page news in Charlotte in the days after the crash. Image source: the Charlotte Observer
A memorial in Charlotte lists the names of the 21 crash victims. Image source: Robert Koehler

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Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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