Final Report: Hydroplanning Factor in Falcon Accident

 - October 31, 2006, 5:00 AM

Dassault Falcon 20, Pine Bluff, Ark., Dec. 5, 2004–The NTSB determined the probable cause of a Falcon 20 overrun was the pilot’s misjudgment of speed and distance. Contributing factors were the moderate rain and the reported encounter with hydroplaning conditions.

The 5,998-foot-long ungrooved runway was wet when the 12,886-hour ATP captain landed at Grider Field. He said that “hydroplaning seemed to be occurring,” with “no cycling of the antiskid” system during the landing roll. The Falcon overran the departure end of the runway. The first evidence of ground contact was 2,450 feet from the approach end of the runway, or roughly 3,548 feet from the departure end.

No evidence of braking action was found on the runway, and the emergency drag chute was not deployed. The aircraft was not equipped with thrust reversers. Wind was from 090 at five knots, visibility 1.5 miles, overcast cloud layer at 500 feet, moderate rain and pooling of water on the runway.

Examination of the airplane’s braking and anti-skid systems did not reveal any anomalies. The airplane was substantially damaged but the crew and two passengers were uninjured.