February 24th in Aviation History
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
China Southwest Airlines Flight 4509 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Chengdu to Wenzhou. On the 24th February 1999, the flight was operated a Tupolev Tu-154M tri-jet airliner. The Tu-154 was carrying 50 passengers and 11 crew. Flight 4509 crashed while on final approach to Wenzhou. All the 61 passengers and crew perished in the crash.
The subsequent investigations revealed that Incorrect self-locking lock-nuts had been installed in the elevator operating system, which maintenance crews failed to notice. These spun off during the flight, leaving the elevator uncontrollable. This disabled the aircraft pitch channel, causing the crash
This crash coupled with another Tu-154 crash for a Chinese airline helped in the decision to remove all Tu-154M’s from active service in China.
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