By Kim Glovas
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the airplane crash that killed Lewis Katz and six other people at a Massachusetts airport on May 31st (see related story).
The NTSB report indicates that the crews did not perform at least pre-flight control check prior to take off. The check would involve, among other things, turning the yoke — the control wheel — to confirm that the control surfaces are moving correctly. Those control surfaces include the ailerons, the elevator, and the rudder.
The report showed the flap handle was set to a 10-degree angle, but the flight data recorder indicated a 20-degree setting during the takeoff attempt.
One CBS aviation expert says the plane was also equipped with a mechanical “gust lock,” which is used to protect the control surfaces from winds gusts while parked. Aviation experts say that, according to the NTSB report, the gust lock system was not fully disengaged, so the pilots may have been taking off thinking the gust lock was off when it wasn’t, limiting their ability to control the plane.
Aviation experts say if the pilots had done a preflight check, they may have known that the gust lock was not fully disengaged.
Data from the Gulfstream IV’s flight data recorders indicated the plane never lifted off before it went off a runway, crashed into a gulley, and burst into flames.
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