ASN Aircraft accident Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N233SW Lake Jackson, TX
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 20 September 2018
Time:18:30 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia
Operator:Berry Aviation
Registration: N233SW
MSN: 120307
First flight: 1995
Total airframe hrs:44386
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:south of Lake Jackson, TX (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Shreveport Regional Airport, LA (SHV/KSHV), United States of America
Destination airport:Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO/MMQT), Mexico
Narrative:
A Berry Aviation Embraer EMB-120ER, N233SW, found substantial damage to the cargo area after arriving at Queretaro International Airport (MMQT), Mexico. The two flight crew members were not injured.  The flight was being operated as a cargo flight from Shreveport Regional Airport (KSHV), Louisiana, to MMQT. 
While in cruise flight in Houston, Texas, airspace, the flight crew noticed a storm cell on the weather radar, however, they continued on their routing since they would stay south of the storm.  While passing the storm, they encountered severe turbulence for a short period of time. The flight crew notified ATC of the location of the severe turbulence and continued the flight. 
Upon arrival at MMQT, the flight crew entered the cargo area where they noticed several panels had fallen and were hanging from their attachment points. Further maintenance inspection revealed buckling to four fuselage frames and four floor support structures that covered an area several feet long. The damage was classified as substantial as it would adversely affect the structural strength of the fuselage.
The flight crew reported they picked up four pallets of cargo at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (CYHM), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 
Two of the pallets were loaded in zone 2 and two were loaded into zone 3. 
The pallets were secured with vertical cargo nets.  The flight crew departed CYHM at 1322 UTC and arrived at KSHV at 1657 to clear US customs and to take on fuel.  They departed KSHV at 1727 UTC for MMQT. After the accident, the operator reminded flight crews to fly 5 or more miles away from thunderstorm cells identified on the weather radar and to secure cargo better to decrease the likelihood that it will shift during turbulence encounters. 

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: An encounter with severe turbulence, which caused the improperly secured cargo to shift and damage the airplane floor structure.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 5 months
Download report: Summary report

Sources:
» FAA


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Map
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 Shreveport Regional Airport, LA to Querétaro Intercontinental Airport as the crow flies is 1449 km (906 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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