Accidents: July 2011

 - June 26, 2011, 9:25 AM

Preliminary Report: Global Suffers Wing Strike on Landing

Bombardier Global Express XRS, Teterboro, N.J., April 21, 2011–While the twinjet was landing in windy conditions at Teterboro Airport at the conclusion of a flight from Palm Beach, Fla., the left wingtip struck the runway, causing the airplane to skid. The crew regained control and concluded the landing and rollout without further incident. Examination of the aircraft revealed damage to the left wing spar, slat and winglet. There were no injuries reported to the four people on board. The airplane was being operated by Global Flight.

Preliminary Report: Challenger Veers Off Runway During Takeoff

Bombardier Challenger 850, Dubai, UAE, May 9, 2011–As it departed on a positioning flight to Saudi Arabia the twinjet veered off the runway at Dubai International Airport and struck an obstacle, sustaining minor damage. According to the operator, Gama Aviation, the aircraft returned to its parking position under its own power after the aborted takeoff. There were no injuries to the three-person flight crew. The General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE is investigating the accident.

Preliminary Report: Hawker Lands With A Splash

Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 700, Loreto Bay, Mexico, May 5, 2011–According to local reports, the crew of the U.S.-registered twinjet reported mechanical problems soon after takeoff from Loreto International Airport. Unable to return to the runway, the crew apparently ditched the aircraft several yards from a beach. The two-person flight crew was able to escape the floating Hawker without injury and swam to shore.

Preliminary Report: Brazil Investigates Pair Of Helo Crashes

Eurocopter AS355F2, Alto Alegre, Brazil, April 6, 2011–The Brazilian-registered light twin helicopter was on a flight from Surucucu to Boa Vista, Brazil, when it crashed, killing three passengers and causing minor injuries to the pilot and another passenger.

Bell 206B, Santo Andre City, Brazil, April 8, 2011–The JetRanger was destroyed when it crashed in the Serro do Mar mountains while on a flight from Guaruja, São Paulo, to São Paulo City. The pilot and passenger were killed in the accident.

Preliminary Report: Power Outage Downs Helicopter

MD Helicopters 369E, Victoria, Texas, May 16, 2011–The helicopter suffered substantial damage when it made a forced landing during a Part 91 flight to Houston. According to the pilot, five minutes after takeoff the engine-out caution light illuminated and an alarm sounded. The automatic re-ignition light then lit and the rotorcraft’s turbine engine appeared to be operating at reduced output. The pilot attempted a run-on landing, and the helicopter’s tail boom was damaged as the MD settled into uneven terrain. The commercial pilot and three passengers were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Saab Crashes In Argentina

Saab 340A, Rio Negro Province, Argentina, May 18, 2011–The twin-turboprop airliner was destroyed when it crashed and burned less than an hour after taking off on a flight from Nequén to Comodoro Rivadavia. The wreckage was found in desert terrain approximately 15 miles from the nearest town. All 22 people on board the SOL Lineas Aéreas-operated aircraft, including the three crewmembers, were killed. The Argentinean government is investigating the accident.

Preliminary Report: Turboprop Single Crashes Short of Runway

Socata TBM 850, Salem, Ohio, May 19, 2011–The turboprop single was substantially damaged when it struck the ground approximately 120 feet short of the runway at Salem Airpark after attempting a go-around. The pilot told investigators that he felt the airplane suffered a sudden loss of lift while on final approach approximately half a mile from the runway. He immediately applied full power in an attempt to perform the go-around, but was too late as the TBM’s left main landing gear struck the ground. The airplane came to a stop 120 feet past the runway threshold on the left side of the runway. One passenger was seriously injured; the private pilot and two other passengers were unharmed.

Preliminary Report: Twinjet Damaged During Emergency Landing

Gulfstream G200, Newburgh, N.Y., May 27, 2011–While making an emergency landing at Stewart International Airport (SWF), the NetJets-operated twinjet suffered minor damage when the right main landing gear collapsed. The pilot-in-command of the Part 91 flight, destined for Westchester County Airport (HPN), reported that after he lowered the gear, three red gear indicators remained lit, followed by a “r hyd overheat” warning. The crew performed the emergency gear extension checklist and used the emergency gear blow-down bottle. Despite confirmation from the HPN tower that all three gear legs were in the extended position, the crew decided to divert to SWF for its longer runway and lower congestion. Upon landing, the aircraft settled onto its right wing. The passenger and two-person flight crew were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Turboprop Flips During Blustery Taxi Run

Cessna 208B, El Paso, Texas, April 26, 2011–The turboprop single was substantially damaged when the wind flipped it onto its right side while it was stopped on the ground. According to the pilot, while taxiing for takeoff he experienced stronger wind than anticipated and decided to delay the flight. Before he could shut the airplane down, a strong wind gust pushed the Grand Caravan’s nose left and lifted the left wing. The airport’s automated weather station reported a wind speed of 36 knots, gusting to 48 knots.

Factual Report: Mu-2 Damaged in Runway Departure

Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, Princeton, Ky., April 3, 2010–While landing at Princeton Caldwell County Airport at the conclusion of a Part 91 flight from Rifle, Colo., the turboprop twin veered off the runway and was substantially damaged. The pilot told investigators that he observed little to no wind as he crossed the runway threshold at nearly 100 knots and the mainwheels touched down on the centerline approximately 800 feet down the runway. After another 200 feet, the aircraft veered to the right and the right wing dropped suddenly. The pilot applied full power in an attempt to avoid a ditch but struck a fence in the process, buckling the Mitsubishi’s wings and fuselage and causing him minor injuries.

According to the pilot, the aircraft experienced either a loss of power in the right engine or an unexpected change in the right propeller’s pitch, causing it to veer suddenly. Examination of the runway showed tire marks for approximately 400 feet past the touchdown point. Those tracks continued off the right side of the runway for another 1,500 feet until the point of impact. No anomalies were found in the examination of the nose gear steering linkages or evaluation of the engines and propeller controls. Flight control continuity was established from the controls to their various surfaces. The flaps were found set in the 20-degree position.

Final Report: NTSB Faults Pilot in Landing Skid

Hawker Beechcraft King Air A200, Bridgewater, Va., Sept 25, 2008–The pilot’s decision to land with a tailwind on a short, wet runway was the cause of the accident that substantially damaged the King Air, the Board ruled. The pilot was conducting a post-maintenance test flight and elected to use a down-sloping, non-grooved runway with an available landing length of 2,377 feet. The pilot executed a go-around after the first touchdown, and told investigators that something did not “feel right” with the landing.

On the second attempt, the pilot touched down approximately 700 feet down the runway and applied reverse thrust and brakes, which were rendered ineffective by the wet runway. He elected not to attempt another go-around because of the airplane’s low indicated airspeed, its landing configuration and the short remaining runway.

The Department of the Interior-operated turboprop twin rolled on to the grass past the end of the runway and then proceeded down a steep embankment into a river, damaging its wings in the process. Neither of the two people on board was injured. A review of the DOI’s operational policy memorandums did not reveal any guidance pertaining to test flights. The NTSB listed the operator’s lack of standard operating procedures for test flights as a contributing factor to the accident.

Final Report: Approach Too Steep, Too Fast In Challenger Accident

Bombardier Challenger CL-600-2B16, Vineyard Haven, Mass., Sept 27, 2009–The accident was the result of the pilot’s improper flare while landing in gusting wind, according to the NTSB. The pilot-in-command was performing an ILS approach to Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) in heavy rain, and set flaps for 30 degrees with an approach speed of 135 knots. The crew told investigators that the twinjet encountered wind shear when it was approximately 20 feet above the runway, resulting in a hard landing with the aircraft bouncing twice.

The airplane departed 15 minutes later. A light illuminated to warn the crew that a landing-gear door was open, prompting the pilots to divert to another airport, where inspection revealed substantial damage to the airplane’s nose section. Data from the Challenger’s EGPWS during the accident flight revealed a “too low flaps” warning when the airplane was about 300 feet above the ground, followed approximately 14 seconds later by a sink rate warning, when the airplane was about 50 feet above the ground.

The unit did not register any wind-shear alerts during the flight, which saw a wind of 16 knots gusting to 23 knots at the time of landing. The aircraft touched down at approximately 150 knots. According to the manufacturer, the aircraft is certified for normal landings with the flaps at 45 degrees only.

There were no injuries to the two passengers or two crewmembers. The Challenger was substantially damaged.

Final Report: Lack Of Data Stymies Stevens Crash Investigation

De Havilland Canada DHC-3T Otter, Aleknagik, Alaska, Aug. 9, 2010–The pilot’s temporary unresponsiveness for undetermined reasons was the cause of the crash that destroyed the turboprop single carrying former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, according to the NTSB.

The lack of a cockpit recorder capable of capturing audio, images and parametric data contributed to the investigation’s inability to determine exactly what occurred during the final minutes of the flight, the agency found. The Part 91 flight was carrying guests on a fishing expedition from a wilderness lodge when it crashed in mountainous, tree-covered terrain in marginal VFR conditions.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no pre-impact failures. At some point during the final few minutes of the flight, the airplane veered from its destination track and crashed in a climbing left turn, based upon the aircraft’s impact damage and ground marks. The airplane was equipped with a radar altimeter, the alerts of which likely prompted the pilot to take aggressive action on the flight controls, resulting in nose-up pitch and left bank angles exhibited at the accident site. Investigators found that the emergency locator transmitter separated from its antenna, preventing transmission of signals that would have quickly alerted and guided rescue personnel. Along with Stevens, the pilot and three other passengers were killed; another four suffered serious injuries.