Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701

Topics: Stall, Aviation terminology, Aviator Pages: 4 (1344 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Pinnacle Airlines
Flight 3701

On October 14th 2004 Captain Jesse Rhodes and First Officer Peter Cesarz were transferring an empty CRJ 200 from Little Rock to Minneapolis. They ended up crashing 2.5 miles from the runway in Jefferson City, Missouri. Several Human Factors lead to the eventual crash and death of everyone on board.

Flight 3701 Departed Little Rock at 2121. Four hundred and fifty feet above the ground they pulled 2 G’s which caused the stick shakers to activate. The pilots were obviously out to see what this jet could do since there were no other souls on board. Their planned altitude was thirty three thousand feet for the remainder of the flight. While climbing to that altitude around fifteen thousand feet they pulled 2.3 g’s and had a ten thousand feet per minute rate of climb, which caused the stick shakers to activate for a second time. Once again they pulled back and climbed at nine thousand feet and pulled 1.87 g’s at twenty five thousand feet. Around 2135 they requested to climb to forty one thousand feet which is the service ceiling of the aircraft. (NTSB)

While climbing to the new altitude the airspeed dropped from 203 knots to 160 knots while they were climbing to forty one thousand feet from thirty seven thousand feet. The airspeed of 160 is very close to the stalling speed of the aircraft. Around this stalling speed the captain told the first officer that they will be coming down in a second and then stated that this thing will not hold altitude. The engines started to spool down and the stick shaker and stick pusher were activated three times in a ten second interval. The airplane then entered an aerodynamic stall. Once the stall occurred a left rolling motion began which eventually ended up in an eighty two degree left wing down configuration. At this time both of the engines actually flamed out. The captain declared an emergency at this time but only admitted to one of the engines failing, not both of them.

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