NTSB: Michigan team’s jet had mechanical issue before failed takeoff

A jammed wing component prevented the airplane from taking off as the Woverines were headed to the Big Ten Tournament March 8.

Amechanical issue registered in the flight data recorder was found in the jet carrying the Michigan basketball team that aborted takeoff and skidded off the runway March 8, the National Transportation Safety Board says (via MLive.com) .

After aborting its takeoff, the airplane slidthrough a fence and over a service road before coming to a stop. The 109 passengers and seven crew members used emergency escape slides to get out of the airplane.

MORE: March Madness 2017: Oregon meets Michigan in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament

The Wolverines were en route to the Big Ten Tournament in Washington when their Boeing MD-83 ran off the runway at Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti, Mich., "after executing a rejected takeoff," the NTSB'spreliminary report said Tuesday.

In an update Wednesday, the NTSB said an elevator — a wing component that controls an airplane's pitch (nose up/nose down) — wasdamaged and jammed in the nose-down positionin the right wing.

The NTSB statement said:

"During takeoff roll, the left elevator began a large airplane nose-up movement (consistent with rotation) at an airspeed of about 152 knots and continued for five seconds to about 166 knots. There was no change in the airplane pitch attitude during this time. The airplane data then are consistent with the takeoff being rejected. The maximum recorded airspeed was about 173 knots."

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After aborting its takeoff, the airplane slidthrough a fence and over a service road before coming to a stop. The 109 passengers and seven crew members used emergency escape slides to get out of the airplane.

MORE: March Madness 2017: Oregon meets Michigan in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament

According to MLive.com, Michigan player Derrick Walton Jr., who required stitches, appears to be the only person injured in the incident.

The Wolverines went on to win the Big Ten Tournament and have advanced to the Sweet 16 Thursdayin Kansas City in the NCAA Tournament.

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