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NTSB to hold hearing into 2017 MD-83 runway excursion

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold an investigation hearing on 15 January to determine the cause of a 2017 runway excursion involving a Boeing MD-83 with a jammed elevator.

The hearing relates to Ameristar Air Cargo flight 9363, a chartered MD-83 (registration N786TW) that overran a runway following an aborted takeoff from Willow Run airport in Michigan on 8 March last year.

The aircraft came to rest on grass about 1,000ft (305m) beyond the end of a runway, and all 109 passengers and seven crew evacuated via emergency slides, with one passenger sustaining minor injuries during evacuation, according to regulatory documents.

Investigators have suggested a jammed elevator may have contributed to the accident.

The pilot at the controls told investigators the aircraft's nose did not come off the ground when he pulled back on the yoke during the takeoff roll.

"The yolk felt heavy, like there was a stack of bricks on the nose of the airplane, since it wasn’t coming off the ground," the pilot said, according to investigation documents.

The pilots aborted the takeoff, stopping on grass well after hitting a ditch, pilots said.

The flight data recorder showed that the right elevator did not move during takeoff, and examination of the aircraft following the accident revealed that the right elevator "was jammed in a trailing-edge-down position" – a nose down position, the NTSB said.

The elevator's "pushrod linkage was found damaged, which restricted movement of the right elevator", it said.

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