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Last updated: 2 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 28 August 1985
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE99 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft C99 Commuter
Operator:Sunbird Airlines
Registration: N992SB
MSN: U-170
First flight: 1981
Total airframe hrs:7651
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-36
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) E of Hickory, NC (   United States of America)
Phase: Maneuvering (MNV)
Departure airport:Hickory Airport, NC (HKY/KHKY), United States of America
Destination airport:Charlotte-Douglas Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT), United States of America
The aircraft left Hickory for a co-pilot qualification flight. The aircraft climbed to 5500 feet and after a while started performing a pitch trim emergency, which is part of Sunbirds training program. The flight descended until it struck tree limbs and a utility pole before colliding with the ground in a 35deg. angle of descent.

Probable Cause:

"Emergency procedure - selected - pilot in command (CFI)
Remedial action - not performed - dual student
Lack of familiarity with aircraft - dual student
Remedial action - delayed - pilot in command (CFI)
Fatigue - pilot in command (CFI)
Supervision - not maintained - pilot in command (CFI)
Fatigue - pilot in command (CFI)"

» NTSB id ATL85FA261


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Hickory Airport, NC to Charlotte-Douglas Airport, NC as the crow flies is 71 km (44 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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