According to a National Transportation Safety Board report, the pilots of the Gulfstream IV jet that crashed at Hanscom Field last May did not conduct a pre-flight check and disregarded a cockpit warning light. The deadly Bedford, MA aviation accident killed the two men and five others on the plane.
Records indicate that the pilots, James McDowell and Bauek De Vries, regularly did not conduct the standard checks. Because of the failure to perform such a check on May 31, it wasn’t until the aircraft was moving at 150 miles an hour right at lift off that they discovered that the flight controls were locked and the plane could not ascend. Instead, the aircraft kept moving forward until it crashed into an antenna and lighting rig before bursting into flames.
Reportedly the gust lock, which is designed to prevent wind damage, had frozen the elevators and the rudder of the plane into place. The mechanism, which is supposed to limit the plane’s power in such conditions did not work as marketed. The manufacturer, Gulfstream, has admitted that the design of this particular gust lock was not correctly certified. The company did, however, put out advisories warning pilots to make sure the mechanism is disengaged before revving a plane’s engine and to make sure to check flight controls before starting to taxi the aircraft.