The Crash of Flight 427, 20 Years later…

NTSB Safety Compass

By Christopher A Hart

Photo Credit September 8, 1994, USAir flight 427, a Boeing 737‑300 crashed while maneuvering to land at Pittsburgh International Airport. The airplane was destroyed and 132 people perished. On this day, the 20th anniversary of this tragedy, our thoughts are with the families of the victims.

After a thorough investigation, the NTSB determined that USAir flight 427 lost control because of issues with the rudder that led to the rudder moving in a direction opposite to that commanded by the pilots. This large rudder movement contrary to what the pilots wanted put the airplane into an unusual attitude, and the pilot’s training had not prepared them for how to recover control of the airplane before it hit the ground at high speed. Although the NTSB issued a number of recommendations to address the issues associated with rudder’s design, this wasn’t the first, or last, time that…

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