Preliminary Report: Maintenance flight overruns runway

 - December 1, 2008, 7:13 AM

Hawker Beechcraft King Air A200, Bridgewater, Va., Sept. 25, 2008–The King Air was substantially damaged when it overran the runway while landing at Bridgewater Air Park. The ATP-rated pilot and his sole passenger, a mechanic, were not injured on the maintenance test flight.

The pilot said he had “followed” the maintenance on the airplane, which included changing the two right main tires. After having the airplane’s main fuel tanks filled completely and ready to take off for a maintenance test flight, he found it difficult to hold the airplane stationary with the brakes during a run-up to check the pressurization. He said this was “common” after servicing the tires, as a small amount of grease can get on the discs and pads.

Instead of following his normal procedure of taxiing with light brake pressure applied to remove any debris and using Runway 15 in case of problems, he did not follow his usual braking action and decided to use Runway 33. After takeoff, he did
“a few checks” on the “pressurization and flow packs,” verifying functionality. After landing back on Runway 33, he decided to “add power and go-around,” as “something” did not “feel right.”

On the second landing, he “landed long,” set his “normal amount of beta [reverse]” and started to apply brakes. He then realized that there was the possibility that he was going to overshoot because of poor braking action on the wet runway. Because of the low indicated airspeed, he did not attempt a go-around. He tried to turn to the left and thought he had stopped but the airplane rolled off the runway, down a steep embankment and into the river.

Investigators found no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions of the braking system, flight controls, propeller controls or engines.