Stall Warning Flight Test Turns Disastrous – Episode 216

A Beech Hawker 900XP jet crashed while doing a flight test of a stall warning system. Special guest Miles O’Brien joins Todd Curtis and John Goglia deconstruct the disastrous February 2024 aviation incident.

The accident occurred during a positioning flight that happened after completion of maintenance of the anti-icing component on the leading edge of the wing. The flight crew was performing a required test of the stall warning system. The aircraft lost control and crashed about 11 minutes after takeoff.

Stall tests are often done early in a flight so the crew can easily return to the maintenance facility if an issue is found. However, this crew did not follow standard procedures.

The crew took risks during the flight test, including flying over high terrain with limited visibility due to overcast conditions. The stall characteristics were more intense than what most pilots would experience in a small training aircraft.

This accident is compared to two earlier events. In 1979, a 727 crew had a loss of effectiveness of the flight control system and were barely able to recover the aircraft after a spiral dive and rapid loss of altitude. In the other event, a DC8 crew crashed while conducting a stall test after the aircraft had completed an extensive overhaul and modifications.

Related documents:

NTSB Hawker Crash Preliminary Report

NTSB Accident Report 727 Spiral Dive in 1979

NTSB Accident Report DC8 Flight Test Crash in 1996

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World-renowned aviation industry consultants and former NTSB investigators John Goglia and Greg Feith have 100 years of worldwide aviation safety experience between them. In this hard-hitting podcast series, they offer the ultimate insider view of everything aviation safety including behind-the-scenes facts on deadly air crashes and issues impacting general aviation and the commercial airline industry.

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