Preliminary Report: Learjet 25 landing mishap

 - December 11, 2007, 9:58 AM

Bombardier Learjet 25B, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dec. 20, 2004–Learjet N252BK collided with a berm following a loss of directional control while landing on 6,200-foot Runway 13 at Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), Cedar Rapids. The ATP-rated captain, commercial copilot and two medical crewmembers were not injured. The Part 91 positioning flight was being conducted in VMC with an instrument flight plan on file. The flight had just taken off from CID en route to McAllen, Texas.

Both pilots reported that they encountered what they thought were rough spots on the runway during the takeoff roll. After takeoff, the captain asked the copilot to raise the gear and engage the yaw damper. Both pilots then noticed an unsafe gear indication for the nosegear. They leveled off at 5,000 feet and reduced the airspeed so that the copilot could recycle the landing gear. They informed the tower that they had a problem with the gear and that they wanted to stay in the area. The copilot cycled the landing gear four more times to no avail.

The captain requested a landing back at CID. The crew had a gear down and locked indication for all three struts during the visual approach to Runway 13. On touchdown, the copilot extended the spoilers and armed the thrust reversers. After the nosewheel touched down, the airplane made a sharp left turn and traveled off the side of the runway through the grass. The airplane hit a berm before coming to a stop on Runway 9. The captain tried to taxi the airplane but discovered that it had no nosewheel steering.

Post-crash inspection revealed the seal on the nosegear strut was blown, preventing the nosegear from centering.