Learjet Lands Safely after Losing Right Elevator

 - December 13, 2006, 6:21 AM

On December 1 Learjet 36 N26FN with two pilots and one passenger aboard lost its right elevator while maneuvering off the coast of San Diego. L-3 Communications Flight Capital was operating the airplane under Part 91. The NTSB said the local public-use flight departed North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego, about 9:30 a.m. VMC prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. According to the Safety Board, the jet “joined up with another airplane, and was doing a cross under maneuver. The pilot lost sight of the other airplane due to sun glare and turned away. When the pilot reacquired his visual acuity, he discovered that the airplane was in a 70-degree angle of bank to the right and 50 degrees nose low. He reduced power and leveled the wings.” After the airplane returned to base, an examination revealed that the right elevator was gone, and the left elevator had permanent deformation.