Final Report: Hydraulic Failure, Pilot Error Caused Mayhem at FXE

 - May 27, 2010, 9:32 AM

Sabreliner NA-265-80, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 1, 2008–Depletion of pressure in the aircraft’s hydraulic system, along with the pilot’s failure to operate the emergency braking system properly, was to blame for a taxiing accident that damaged three other airplanes, according to the NTSB. A non-functioning hydraulic system aural warning in the aircraft was also found to be a contributing factor. The twinjet had just been released from the repair station following several months of structural corrosion repair, and was taxiing out of the facility when the pilots reported that the brakes and steering–which initially were reported as satisfactory–failed while the twinjet was moving at approximately 10 miles per hour. The out-of-control Sabreliner’s wing struck the rotating propeller of a Cessna Caravan that was heading to its parking area and then crashed into a Hawker that was being towed, forcing the tug operators to flee the still moving vehicle. The rampage finally ended when the jet struck another stationary Sabreliner. Investigators found no evidence that the pilots attempted to operate the auxiliary hydraulic system and they failed to follow the instructions to activate the emergency braking system. Both wings, the nose and left engine nacelle of the Sabreliner were substantially damaged, while the stationary Sabreliner sustained substantial damage to its right wing and fuselage. The Hawker also experienced fuselage damage, while the Caravan had a damaged propeller. One of the tug drivers suffered minor injuries.