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Date: 20 September 1989
Airline: USAir
Flight No.: 5050
Aircraft: Boeing 737-401
Location: Flushing, NY
Fatalities: 2:63

Photographer: Unknown

The aircraft [N416US], on a scheduled flight from New York's La Guardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, started its takeoff roll at La Guardia runway 31 with a fully deflected rudder (16 left). During the takeoff roll, the aircraft began to drift to the left, and the Captain took control from the First Officer, who was the pilot-flying at the commencement of the takeoff. At 130kts (V1 was 125kts), about half way down the 7000 foot runway, the Captain rejected the takeoff. The aircraft overran the wet runway and dropped onto a wooden approach light pier, which collapsed causing the aircraft to break into three pieces and drop into 15ft deep East River. The National Transporation Safety Board, in its final report, concluded that the probable cause of the accident to be "the Captain's failure to exercise his command authority in a timely manner to reject the takeoff or take sufficient control to continue the takeoff, which was initiated with a mistrimmed rudder. Also causal was the Captain's failure to detect the mistrimmed rudder before the takeoff was attempted."

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