Accident de Havilland DH-114 Heron 2D N575PR, Tuesday 24 July 1979
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Date:Tuesday 24 July 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic HERN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH-114 Heron 2D
Registration: N575PR
MSN: 14125
Year of manufacture:1957
Total airframe hrs:23045 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-520E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 21
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Saint Croix-Alexander Hamilton Airport (STX) -   U.S. Virgin Islands
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Saint Croix-Alexander Hamilton Airport (STX/TISX)
Destination airport:Saint Kitts-Golden Rock Airport (SKB/TKPK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft attained a nose-high attitude after takeoff and started to roll left and right. The aircraft pitched down and up and rolled left and right again while losing altitude. The plane struck the ground about 5500 feet from the runway end and 792 feet right of the extended centerline in a right-wing-down attitude. It appeared that the aircraft had been overloaded by 1060 pounds and that the center of gravity (CG) was 8 inches beyond the maximum rear limit.
The exact identity of this aircraft is uncertain. Prinair Heron N563PR which crashed 5 March 1969 killing all 19 on board was quoted by the NTSB report AAR-70-09 as well as Heron production lists to be c/n 14125. Strangely enough NTSB report NTSB-AAR-80-3 also explicitly states the identity of N575PR being c/n 14125. Also, N575PR / c/n 14125 was still current in the FAA aircraft register in 2004. Probably the identity papers of the real c/n 14125 (N563PR) were used together with another airframe. Possibilities: N557PR (c/n 14077) or N565PR (c/n 14116).

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's loss of control of the aircraft after take-off because of the aircraft's grossly overweight and out-of-balance condition which resulted from misloading by the company's load control personnel. The misloading was due to the failure of the company to supervise and to enforce its loading procedures. The Safety Board also determines that inadequate surveillance and enforcement by the FAA were causal factors in this accident."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA79AA020
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

5 March 1969 N563PR Prinair 19 24 km SE of San Juan w/o


  • 47th worst accident in 1979
  • 10th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 9th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Peggy Castle; Saint Croix-Alexander Hamilton Airport (STX); 1976

photo (c) Joseph F. Dolloff; Saint Croix-Alexander Hamilton Airport (STX); 15 March 1973

Revision history:


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