NTSB: Improper Loading Caused Challenger Crash
In a final report adopted Tuesday, the NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the Feb. 2, 2005, accident involving a Challenger 600 that crashed while trying to take off from Teterboro Airport, N.J., was the flight crew’s “failure to ensure the airplane was loaded within weight-and-balance limits and their attempt to take off with the center of gravity well forward of the forward takeoff limit, which prevented the airplane from rotating at the intended rotation speed.” According to the Safety Board, neither pilot used the available weight-and-balance information appropriately to determine the airplane’s weight-and-balance characteristics for the takeoff. During the takeoff the Challenger ran off the end of Runway 6; through an airport perimeter fence; across a six-lane highway (where it struck a vehicle); and into a parking lot before hitting a building. The two pilots were seriously injured, as were two occupants in the vehicle. The cabin aide, eight passengers and one person in the building received minor injuries.