Preliminary Report: Learjet aborts takeoff twice

 - May 1, 2009, 12:10 PM

Bombardier Learjet 55, Casper, Wyo., March 17, 2009–The Learjet 55, registered to Sunwest Aviation of Calgary, Alberta, aborted its takeoff from Natrona County International Airport when the tower controller said he thought he saw smoke coming from the left engine. The flight crew taxied to a taxiway, did a runup with no problem and was cleared for a second takeoff. On the roll, the crew heard a loud noise from the right side of the airplane and felt a sudden airframe vibration. Thinking one of the main gear tires had blown, the captain aborted the takeoff. Then the second right gear tire blew. The crew was able to exit the runway. When they opened the cabin door, they saw a fire near the left main gear. Tire debris extended on the runway from the area of taxiway Alpha 4 to Alpha 7. The left main landing gear had fire damage, and there was a punctured hole within the right side of the fuselage aft of the cockpit. No one was injured, but the Learjet was substantially damaged.