Learjet 55 damaged while landing

 - July 17, 2007, 11:02 AM

Attempting to land during extreme weather conditions, a Learjet 55 ran off the end of the runway moments after touchdown at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fla., on July 19, shearing the main and nose landing gear and resulting in what an NTSB investigator called “significant hull damage.” There were no passengers aboard for the repositioning flight from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. A preliminary NTSB report said the copilot suffered slight injuries and was briefly hospitalized before being released. The captain was not injured. Witnesses said that seconds after the airplane landed at about 11:30 a.m., it encountered “a wall of water” produced by a severe microburst. The pilot was attempting to land on Runway 31. At 4,000 feet, it is the shorter of the two runways at Fort Lauderdale Executive. Both runways had been closed the previous week for resurfacing and only the shorter of the two had been reopened at the time of the flight. The airplane is on the Part 135 certificate of Fort Lauderdale-based Hop-A-Jet but was not being operated on behalf of the charter operator at the time of the accident. A source at Fort Lauderdale Executive said the airplane, based at the airport, is owned by an unidentified Florida holding company and operated jointly for a group of area businessmen.