Factual report: Aborted takeoff damages Learjet

Aviation International News » January 2010
December 29, 2009, 8:35 AM

Bombardier Learjet 55, Casper, Wyo., March. 17, 2009–The Canadian-registered Learjet, operated by Sunwest Aviation, suffered substantial damage due to burst tires and a landing gear fire after a second aborted takeoff run at Natrona County International Airport. On the initial takeoff attempt, the tower controller notified the pilots that he thought he saw smoke coming from the left engine, causing the crew to abort the takeoff, exit the runway and perform an engine power check. They noted no abnormalities.

The twinjet then taxied back to the runway for a second try. At 80 knots the crew heard a bang as the airplane yawed to the right. As the captain called for a second abort, the crew heard a second bang. The crew was able to slow the airplane and steer it onto a taxiway. When they opened the cabin door they noticed a fire near the left main landing gear. At the time of the accident, the crew reported the aircraft weight to be 20,772 pounds, nearly 500 pounds higher than the manufacturer’s calculated maximum brake energy weight. According to the Learjet 55 flight manual, a rejected takeoff at a weight above the maximum brake energy weight requires a mandatory high-energy stop inspection. The flight crew and the two passengers were uninjured in the incident.

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