Heavy braking event occurred before Texas plane accident, NTSB says 6

Heavy braking event occurred before Texas plane accident, NTSB says

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By Amy Simonson, CNN

The investigation into the plane that crashed into a fence before bursting into flames at a Texas airport showed heavy braking action, according to Michael Graham, a board member with the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB).

“What we do know is there was a heavy braking event, which appears to be an aborted takeoff. So, we do know that the brakes were effectively working before the aircraft exited the runway,” Graham said Thursday.

“We have approximately 1,200 feet of distinguishable heavy braking marks from the tires, looked like they were effectively trying to brake that aircraft,” he said.

Graham said the engines were in good condition.

“Fortunately the engines are in good condition on the tail end, at the wreckage site and will allow for a thorough examination,” he said.

According to Graham, investigators are still trying to retrieve information from the data recorders.

“The CVR recording media appears to be in good condition. We’re still working to download the data from that,” Graham said. CVR refers to the cockpit voice recorder.

The flight data recorder did not suffer heat damage, according to Graham, and will be converted to readable flight data at a lab in Washington, DC.

Graham said that prior to the crash into the trees, there was no debris field found on or around the runway.

“The left wing had made contact with a row of trees. And basically, that’s why we have a debris field, much of that is part of the wing coming apart. And we do have some distinguishable fire marks, starting at that point,” Graham said.

The aircraft, according to Graham, has not flown since December 2020.

The plane, carrying Houston Astros fans to their team’s game against the Red Sox in Boston, never gained altitude at takeoff and crashed into a fence before bursting into flames.

Graham said that the flight mechanic who was traveling onboard the flight opened the main cabin door on the front left of the aircraft and investigators believe all those onboard exited the main cabin door using the inflated evacuation slide.

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct name of the NTSB board member. It is Michael Graham.

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