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N861MA accident description

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Crash location 21.152778°N, 157.096111°W
Nearest city Molokai, HI
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Tail number N861MA
Accident date 15 Oct 2009
Aircraft type Cessna 208B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 15, 2009, at 0745 Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N861MA, sustained substantial damage when the airplane's tail impacted the ground during the passenger boarding process at the Molokai Airport, Kaunakakai, Hawaii. Mokulele Airlines operated the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135, when the accident occurred. The captain, first officer and five passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

In a written report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the director of operations reported that after the passengers were boarded, the second-in-command (SIC) pilot noted a discrepancy in the load manifest. The SIC communicated the error to the ramp agent who then opened the aft door and boarded the airplane with the passengers still on board. The airplane subsequently "tilted downward" and the tail struck the tarmac.

In a written statement the pilot-in-command (PIC) reported that after discovering the error in the load manifest, the SIC instructed the ramp agent to put the tail stand in place. He reported that the ramp agent "ignored" the instructions and boarded the airplane through the aft door. The PIC reported that this occurred after he exited the airplane.

Review of postaccident photos of the airplane revealed structural damage to an aft bulkhead (FS 427.88) and the tail tie down assembly. On October 21, 2009, a Major Repair and Alteration Form 337 was submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration detailing the repairs to the airplane.

NTSB Probable Cause

The failure of the ramp agent to use a tail stand.

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