Preliminary Report: Learjet hits elk on take off

 - January 16, 2008, 9:25 AM

GATES LEARJET 36A, ASTORIA, ORE., DEC. 3, 2002–At approximately 6:12 a.m. Learjet N546PA, operating as Northern Lights Flight #1, struck several elk on takeoff from Astoria Regional Airport (AST). The impact damage caused the aircraft to run off the end of the runway, where it was destroyed by the resulting fire.

The airplane was registered to CFF Air of Wilmington, Del., and was being operated as a support flight in conjunction with a Canadian Armed Forces training exercise. The two pilots and two support personnel aboard the aircraft were not injured. The accident occurred approximately 90 minutes before sunrise under VMC. The flight was departing for Eugene, Ore.

The pilot-in-command reported to the NTSB that during acceleration for takeoff,
at approximately V1 the airplane collided with multiple elk that had run onto the runway. The PIC reported that after colliding with the elk, he applied full brakes and deployed the airplane’s drag chute, but the airplane still overran the departure end of Runway 08. The airplane came to rest in a marshy bog approximately 50 feet beyond the departure threshold.