Preliminary Report: JetStar loses left flap

 - July 25, 2007, 5:56 AM

Lockheed JetStar 1329-23E, Houston, Texas, May 15, 2004–Lockheed JetStar N57NR sustained minor damage following an in-flight separation of the left flap assembly while on final approach to William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). The airplane was registered to and operated by Aircraft Trading Center of Tequesta, Fla. The two ATP pilots and two passengers were not injured. VMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed for the Part 91 business flight.

According to the pilot, as the flaps were extended fully on final approach to Runway 4, the airplane decelerated and rolled uncontrollably to the left. The pilot regained control of the airplane by accelerating to 165 to 170 knots, and holding right roll control. The landing touchdown and rollout were uneventful.

A witness saw the flap separate from the airplane after it crossed the outer marker on final approach. Inspection revealed that the left inboard flap had separated and the attach bolts were still in the flap attach brackets.
The pilot noted that the airplane had accumulated approximately 13,500 flight hours and 11,500 cycles.

FAA examination of the airplane revealed dents on the aft end of the left fuel tank, and dents and a hole in the engine cowling. The inspector examined the failure point at the inboard flap attaching point. Castings were removed and examined with a hand-held magnifying glass. Corrosion pitting was seen.