Accidents: September 2011

 - August 27, 2011, 9:25 AM

Preliminary Report: Learjet Strikes Wing on Landing

Bombardier Learjet 35, Opa-Locka, Fla., July 12, 2011–While landing at Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF) at the conclusion of a Part 91 test flight, the twinjet encountered wind shear 30 feet above the runway and rolled to the right, losing 20 knots of airspeed. As the pilot attempted to regain control of the airplane, its right wingtip struck the runway. The pilot was able to land safely and taxi off the runway. Examination of the airframe revealed substantial damage to the outboard right wing. The two pilots and two passengers were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Citation Overshoots Runway

Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, Ewing Township, N.J., July 22, 2011–While attempting to land at Trenton-Mercer Airport at the end of a Part 91 positioning flight from Teterboro Airport, the twinjet suffered minor damage when it departed the runway. The Citation came to rest in a grassy area about 200 feet off the runway, shutting down the airport’s runway traffic for several hours. The two-person flight crew was uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Hawker Suffers Mishap in Africa

Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800, Benin, Nigeria, July 10, 2011–The Nigerian-registered twinjet was damaged when it overshot the runway at Benin City Airport and skidded into brush near the Nigerian Air Force headquarters. According to reports, the three people on board suffered injuries. The Nigerian government is investigating the accident.

Preliminary Report: Bell Goes Down in Indonesia

Bell 412, Mount Dua Saudara, Indonesia, Aug. 3, 2011–The helicopter was destroyed and all 10 people on board were killed when it crashed into a mountainside while on a charter flight to a mining site. Authorities say they lost contact with the Nyaman Air-operated rotorcraft several minutes after it took off from Sam Ratulangi International Airport in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado.

Preliminary Report: Bell Crashes in Canadian Wilderness

Bell 407, Stewart, Canada, July 31, 2011–The Bell, owned and operated by Vancouver Island Helicopters, was destroyed when it crashed in a remote area on British Columbia’s northern coast during a charter flight for a geological survey. According to reports, there were high winds in the area at the time of the accident. The pilot and two passengers were killed. Transport Canada is investigating the accident.

Preliminary Report: Eclipse Strikes Ground Vehicle

Eclipse Aviation EA500, Saanen, Switzerland, March 14, 2011–During roll-out at Saanen Aerodrome at the conclusion of a flight from Innsbruck, Austria, the U.S.-registered light twinjet struck the arm of a parked de-icing truck, causing substantial damage to the aircraft. The pilot and four passengers were uninjured. The Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is investigating the accident.

Factual Report: Wind Shear Eyed in Rough Global Landing

Bombardier Global Express, Teterboro, N.J., April 21, 2011–The twinjet’s left wing struck the ground during landing at Teterboro Airport, causing substantial damage to the outboard forward wing spar. During the approach, the pilot not flying reported airspeed fluctuations of as much as 20 knots. As the pilot flying initiated the landing flare, the aircraft was struck by a gust of wind and rolled left. The pilot applied full opposite aileron but could not prevent the wing strike. The Bombardier was able to land, slow to taxi speed and exit the runway. Approximately five minutes before the accident, the wind was recorded at 310 degrees at 20 knots. Peak wind at the time of the accident was measured at 33 knots at 300 degrees.

Factual Report: Socata Crashes Short of Runway

Socata TBM850, Salem, Ohio, May 19, 2011–The turboprop single was substantially damaged and one of the three passengers suffered serious injuries when it crashed short of Runway 10L at the Salem Airpark (38D) at the end of a Part 91 flight from Valparaiso, Ind.

The pilot (who was uninjured) told NTSB investigators that after breaking out of the clouds at 1,800 feet msl, he made a visual approach to the airport. He reported that he had calculated a landing distance of 1,400 feet and he intended to land near the approach end of the runway. The pilot told investigators that at about half a mile from the runway, on approach with gear down and full flaps, the airplane felt like it “literally just dropped out of the sky.” He applied full power and attempted to perform a go-around, but the left main landing gear struck the ground approximately 120 feet from the beginning of the runway. The TBM came to a stop on the left side of the runway about 120 feet past the threshold.

According to data downloaded from the aircraft’s Garmin GPS 1000 MFD, the TBM850’s airspeed varied from 71 to 81 knots indicated airspeed (IAS) during the 10 seconds before impact. The data also indicated that the airplane’s groundspeed averaged approximately 3 to 5 knots higher than the IAS during the final approach. The TBM850’s operating handbook lists the stall speed with the aircraft in landing configuration as 64 knots IAS at max takeoff weight.

Final Report: Pilot Disorientation Blamed In Fatal Citation Crash Cessna 525 Citation CJ1, West Gardiner, Maine, Feb. 1, 2008–The NTSB ruled that the pilot’s spatial disorientation and subsequent failure to maintain airplane control was the cause of the accident, which destroyed the twinjet and killed the private owner-pilot and her passenger two minutes after takeoff. According to witnesses, the pilot was eager to leave despite acknowledging the poor weather conditions. As she departed the airport, the pilot neglected to activate taxi and runway lights, taxied on grass areas off taxiways, and announced incorrect taxi instructions and runways. After departing from Augusta State Airport on an IFR flight plan in darkness with near-zero visibility in mist and light freezing rain, the airplane entered a climbing right turn. At 3,500 feet, the pilot declared an emergency, stating she had an attitude indicator failure.The aircraft was equipped with three separate sources of attitude information, all powered by separate sources. In the event of a failure of the pilot and copilot instruments, the crew could maintain aircraft control by using the standby attitude indicator that is in plain view from the pilot seat. The pilot’s last transmission indicated that she wasn’t sure which direction she was turning. Radar indicated at the time that the aircraft was in a steep, rapidly descending turn. Night operation in IMC, an accelerating climbing turn along with the pilot’s demonstrated complacency would have created an environment conducive to spatial disorientation, the Safety Board concluded. Based on the altitude and speed of the aircraft, the pilot would have had mere seconds to identify, overcome and respond to the effects of spatial disorientation. Final Report: Pilot’s Loss of Control Blamed for Mu-2 Crash

Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, Princeton, Ky., April. 3, 2010–The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing roll resulted in a runway excursion and substantial damage to the airplane, according to the Safety Board. The NTSB was unable to determine a reason for the control loss. According to the pilot, who suffered minor injuries in the accident, as he touched down on the centerline in a “textbook” landing 800 feet beyond the runway threshold, the twin turboprop’s wing dropped suddenly and the aircraft veered sharply to the right and exited the runway. The pilot then added full power in an attempt to fly over a ditch and collided with a fence, buckling the MU-2’s wings and fuselage.

The pilot told investigators that he believed something caused the power to drop or to change the pitch on the right propeller, causing the runway departure. Investigators found no defects with the nose gear and all main landing-gear linkages were intact with signs of impact damage. Examination of the engine power and propeller controls revealed no anomalies, and flight control continuity was established from the controls to their respective flight surfaces. Examination of the runway revealed tire marks approximately 400 feet from the initial touchdown mark, continuing for 1,500 feet on the right side of the runway to the point of impact.

Final Report: Wet Runway Caused Citation Skid

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2, Storm Lake, Iowa, June 21, 2010–The pilot’s decision to land on a water-contaminated runway resulted in a runway excursion during the landing roll, the Board ruled. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s lack of knowledge regarding the landing distance required and the airplane’s limited braking effectiveness on a water-contaminated runway.

The pilot told investigators that he cancelled his IFR plan and proceeded to Storm Lake Municipal Airport (SLB) visually despite thunderstorms in the area. He reported that during the landing rollout at the conclusion of the Part 91 flight, the wind shifted from a quartering headwind to a tailwind and that he was unable to stop the twinjet due to the “wet runway and the wind.” With too little runway left to execute a go-around, the CJ2 exited the departure end of the 5,000-foot runway and its nose gear and left main landing gear collapsed in the grass and mud. The pilot told investigators that “With the brakes fully applied, the aircraft responded as if it had none.”

Examination of the aircraft’s tires and brake systems found no problems with the exception of an anti-skid control valve that performed slightly below test requirements, which investigators ruled would not have affected the unit’s performance. The pilot told the FAA inspector that there was standing water on the runway at the time of the accident. According to the CJ2’s flight manual, under the conditions reported, the aircraft had a Vref wet runway landing distance of 4,050 to 4,350 feet, and a Vref water-covered runway distance of 5,900 to 6,250 feet.

Final Report: Wind Gust Carried Twinjet Past Safe Landing

Gulfstream IV, Teterboro, NJ, Oct. 1, 2010–The NTSB attributed the runway overrun to the pilot-in-command’s (PIC) failure to attain the proper touchdown point while landing with a gusting crosswind and his failure to initiate a go-around, resulting in a landing more than halfway down the runway.

As the flight approached Teterboro Airport (TEB) the PIC elected to add 10 knots to the Vref speed due to the wind conditions. As the twinjet descended toward 6,013-foot-long Runway 6, the pilot obtained a wind check from the tower controller indicating the wind was from 010 degrees at 15 knots, gusting to 25. The copilot made airspeed callouts throughout the approach and the airplane descended into ground effect at between 150 to 160 knots. It floated and bounced upon landing before finally touching down with approximately 2,250 feet of runway remaining.

According to Gulfstream, at the aircraft’s estimated landing weight, a runway distance of 2,820 feet is required under dry conditions. The deployment of thrust reversers, ground spoilers, brakes and the GIV’s anti-skid system could not prevent the twinjet from exiting the runway at nearly 50 knots and coming to rest in an engineered materials arresting system. None of the 11 people on board was injured.

The PIC told investigators the aircraft was at Vref just before touchdown when a gust of wind caused it to float. In a statement, he said that at no point did either pilot believe there wasn’t adequate runway left for landing. The jet touched down with approximately 65 percent of the runway behind it, and the copilot told investigators he didn’t realize the aircraft wouldn’t stop in time until there was less than 500 feet of runway remaining. A contributing factor to the accident was the failure of either pilot to call for a go-around when the airplane was at Vref plus 15 at 50 feet above the runway, or once they had floated well beyond the touchdown zone of the runway.