PBA Flight 1039

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PBA Flight 1039
Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante, PBA - Provincetown-Boston Airline AN0578560.jpg
A Provincetown-Boston Airlines Embraer EMB-110, similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date December 6, 1984
Summary Maintenance error
Site Jacksonville International Airport
Passengers 11
Crew 2
Fatalities 13
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante
Operator Provincetown-Boston Airlines
Registration N96PB[1]
Flight origin Jacksonville International Airport; Jacksonville, Florida
Destination Tampa International Airport; Tampa, Florida

PBA Flight 1039 was an Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante that was operated by Provincetown-Boston Airline on a scheduled passenger flight from Jacksonville International Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, to Tampa International Airport, Florida. On December 6, 1984, the plane crashed upon takeoff at Jacksonville, killing all 13 passengers and crew.


PBA Flight 1039[2] was scheduled to depart Jacksonville at 6:12 PM. Thirty seconds after taking off at 6:13 PM, the flight crashed some 7,800 feet (2,377 meters) beyond the runway. The horizontal stabilizer, as well as the elevators and part of the fin, had separated in flight. The airplane caught fire upon impact, and all 13 occupants were killed in the crash.[3]


The crossing of elevator cables by maintenance personnel is but one theory presented by the NTSB in their report on the accident, dated June 24, 1986. The final report stated the following regarding probable cause:

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was a malfunction of either the elevator control system or elevator trim system, which resulted in an airplane pitch control problem. The reaction of the flightcrew to correct the pitch control problem overstressed the left elevator control rod, which resulted in asymmetrical elevator deflection and overstress failure of the horizontal stabilizer attachment structure. The Safety Board was not able to determine the precise problem with the pitch control system."[4]


The crash was the third in six months for PBA, an airline that had been recently grounded by the FAA for safety violations.[5] The crash shook public confidence in PBA, and bookings dropped substantially. After filing for bankruptcy, the airline was purchased by People Express in 1986.


  1. ^ "FAA Registry". Federal Aviation Administration. 
  2. ^ [1] Provincetown-Boston Airline confirms accident
  3. ^ [2] Jacksonville, FL Plane Crashes on Take-Off, Dec 1984
  4. ^ [3], Air Disaster Accident Database - NTSB Report.
  5. ^ [4] Aviation: Crash of a troubled airline

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