Four Premier I overruns, but no injuries

 - October 2, 2007, 10:43 AM

The Premier I has been involved in four landing overruns since the Raytheon Aircraft light jet entered service in the summer of 2001. In each mishap, there was substantial damage to the airplane but no occupants were injured. Failure of the
lift-dump spoilers to deploy has been implicated in at least two of the mishaps.

After the first two accidents (Jan. 7, 2003, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Aug. 18, 2002, in Norwood, Mass.), both attributed to failure of the lift-dump spoilers to deploy, the FAA issued an AD in April last year. Until updates are made, the directive requires U.S.-registered Premier I operators to replace existing landing-distance and landing-weight charts with those that reflect the increased landing distance without the lift-dump spoilers deployed. Raytheon Aircraft has developed a fix, and at press time about 60 to 70 percent of the fleet had been updated.

Among the aircraft that had the fix was the one involved in the most recent overrun mishap. The sole-occupant pilot escaped injury when his Premier I overran the 4,400-foot-long runway at Blackbushe, UK, on April 7. The pilot, reportedly concerned about a technical problem, elected to land at Farnborough to disembark his passengers and do some aircraft checks before repositioning the Premier I to Blackbushe.

Hydroplaning might have been the culprit in the fourth incident. On March 14, Premier I N4395D overran the 6,400-foot-long runway at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, damaging the landing gear and left wing. N4395D did not have the
lift-dump spoiler-deployment fix, but “the crew reported that the lift-dump system activated,” according to a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman. However, “the airplane did not slow down at the rate it should. The tires and runway exhibited marks consistent with hydroplaning,” he added. AIN learned that heavy rain had been falling earlier, and it was still raining lightly at the time of the accident.

All four mishaps remain under investigation. By the end of the first quarter, 95 Premier Is had been delivered.