Accidents: March 2012

 - March 2, 2012, 4:40 AM

Preliminary Report: Large-Cabin Jet Destroyed in Runway Excursion

Gulfstream IV, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, Feb. 12, 2012–The U.S.-registered twinjet was destroyed after it left the runway while landing at Bukavu-Kavumu Airport, slid down an embankment and broke in two. According to reports, both pilots, one of the seven passengers and two people on the ground were killed.

Preliminary Report: Air Ambulance Flight Skids on Landing

Bombardier Learjet 31A, Wheatland, Wyo., Feb. 11, 2012–As it landed at Phifer Airfield to pick up a patient, the twinjet skidded on the runway and hit a snow bank, causing substantial damage to the landing gear. The two pilots and two nurses were uninjured. AirLife Denver was operating the flight.

Preliminary Report: Light Jet Blows Off Runway

Cessna Citation 560, Orange, Texas, Jan. 24, 2012–As the twinjet landed in wet conditions at Orange County Airport, it encountered a strong gust of wind that caused it to skid off the runway, according to authorities. The Citation’s nose gear collapsed. There were no injuries reported by the nine people on board.

Preliminary Report: After Engine Loss, Twinjet Crashes on Takeoff

Bombardier Learjet 35, Pueblo, Colo., Feb. 2, 2012–The twinjet was substantially damaged when it exited the side of the runway at Pueblo Memorial Airport during its takeoff roll. According to investigators, the Learjet appeared to experience a loss of power in its right engine before the accident. The eight passengers and two crewmembers were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Midsize Jet Skids Off Runway

Hawker Beechcraft 700A, Waterford, Mich., Jan. 29, 2012–During rollout after a late-night landing at Oakland County International Airport, the twinjet was damaged when it slid off the runway. The two crew and eight passengers were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Turboprop Single Lands in Brush after Engine Loss

Pilatus PC-12/45, Timmins, Canada, Jan. 15, 2012–The PC-12 sustained minor damage when it executed an emergency landing at Timmins Victor M. Power Airport. The air ambulance flight, operated by Air Bravo, was five minutes from its destination when the crew reported an engine failure. The Canadian-registered turboprop single stopped in brush 1,500 feet past the end of the runway. The two pilots and a paramedic were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Unauthorized Pilot Crashes Helicopter

Bell 407, Rock Springs, Wyo., Dec. 13, 2011–The helicopter was substantially damaged when it crashed into an open field about 12 miles from Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport. The Bell 407 had been maneuvering at low airspeed and low altitude near the home of some of the passengers. The helicopter suffered a severed tailboom and damage to its lower cabin structure and landing skids. The pilot and four passengers received minor injuries.

Helicopter owner Guardian Flight employed the pilot, who fled the scene, as a mechanic. He was not authorized to fly the helicopter. According to the FAA, he was issued a student pilot certificate in 1988, and there is no further record of his being issued any additional certification. He was apprehended by law enforcement in another state. An acquaintance of the accident pilot told investigators that he had seen him give “joy rides” in the helicopter on several previous occasions.

Preliminary Report: Midsize Jet Overruns Runway at Baltimore Airport

Gulfstream G150, Baltimore, Md., Jan. 30, 2012–The twinjet sustained minor damage when it overran the runway after landing at Baltimore Washington International Airport at the end of a Part 91 repositioning flight from Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport in Pennsylvania. The pilot told investigators that the G150’s thrust reversers did not deploy as he raised their handles and the brakes alone could not stop the aircraft. The Gulfstream ended up in mud 200 feet past the end of the runway with damage to the nose gear and landing gear doors. The two ATP-rated pilots were uninjured.

Preliminary Report: Venezuelan Tour Helicopter Goes Down

Bell 206L-4, Montana Auyantepui, Venezuela, Jan. 18, 2011–The LongRanger was destroyed and its pilot and four passengers killed when it crashed into a mountain during a sightseeing flight. Precipitation was reported near the location at the time of the accident. The flight originated at the Aérodrome de Luepa and its destination was Uonquen Airport. The Venezuelan government is investigating the accident.

Factual Report: Loss of Control Eyed in Turboprop Crash

Hawker Beechcraft King Air A100, Vancouver, Canada, Oct. 27, 2011–Shortly after departing Vancouver International Airport, the flight returned to Vancouver with an oil leak in the left engine. Approximately half a mile from the runway the turboprop twin slowed, banked 80 degrees left and crashed on a roadway just outside the airport perimeter and struck a car. An airport fire truck crashed through the airport fence to reach the scene as passersby and emergency workers evacuated the seven passengers and two crewmembers from the burning wreckage. All on board suffered serious injuries, and two crewmembers died in the hospital later.

Rescue workers found the King Air’s electrical wiring system continued to arc even after the fire was extinguished. Investigators noted that the deformed frame of the single cabin door–which was jammed–hindered escape from the aircraft. Fire on the right wing prevented egress through the right window emergency exit. The injuries the occupants suffered in the crash were survivable, but the post-impact fire compromised survivability, according to the Canadian safety board.

In 2006 the board issued recommendations including requirements for fuel system crashworthiness and improved standards for exits based on a study that identified 128 of 521 accidents in which fire or smoke inhalation was the cause of death. In the wake of this accident, the board has ruled the response from regulators to be unsatisfactory. Transport Canada has classified this crash as a loss-of-control accident but has yet to determine the cause.

Factual Report: Turboprop Twin Suffers Gear Failure

Hawker Beechcraft C99, Cedartown, Ga., April. 10, 2011–The C99 was substantially damaged when its left main gear failed as it landed at Polk County Airport at the conclusion of a parachute flight. The pilot told investigators that as he configured the turboprop twin for landing, only two of the three landing gear lamps illuminated. He confirmed that he had an unsafe gear indication by activating the test switch, which proved there was not a burned-out indicator lamp.

After the pilot retracted the gear and attempted to lower it manually, he noted the force needed to extend the gear became greater and greater until “something gave way.” The pilot then landed the aircraft on the nose and right main gear, damaging the left wing and fuselage.

Post-accident examination revealed the manual landing gear extension feature was engaged and the circuit breaker for the motor was “popped.” Further inspection showed wear failure on the left main landing gear actuator where the drive enters the actuator housing. The supports for the actuator bearings lacked lubrication and the bearings themselves showed signs of wear due to inadequate lubrication. Due to the amount of time and use since the installation of the actuator, investigators could not determine whether the unit had lacked lubrication since it was installed or if subsequent inspections had failed to note the absence of grease.

Factual Report: Twinjet Suffers Gear Failure on Landing

Gulfstream G200, Newburgh, N.Y., May 27, 2011–As the crew prepared to land at Westchester County Airport, they moved the landing-gear lever to the down position. Although they heard sounds associated with movement of the landing gear, the gear indicators displayed three red lights, they told investigators.

The pilot-in-command aborted the approach and entered a holding pattern as the crew reviewed the checklist. Less than a minute later, a “r hyd overheat” message appeared on the Eicas. At that time hydraulic pressure was 1,500 psi, about half normal. The crew then attempted to use the emergency gear blow-down bottle; indication lights were green for the nosegear but remained red for the main gear.

The crew then declared an emergency and diverted to Stewart International Airport, which has longer runways. Upon landing, the airplane remained level for several seconds before tilting to the right and settling on its right wing.

Examination of the aircraft revealed the landing-gear selector handle was approximately one-quarter of an inch from the full-down position. When the aircraft was raised on jacks and supplied with electrical and hydraulic power the gear cycled successfully. Investigators noted there was no tactile feel of a detent position on the handle as the G200’s system used detents on the landing gear selection valve instead, unlike most Gulfstream products.

When the gear selector handle was positioned to where it was found, investigators noted a hydraulic bypass hissing accompanied by a rise in hydraulic temperature and a reduction in pressure. The main gear extended but did not lock and the nose gear did not extend. According to the investigator in charge of the accident, an intermediary position of the landing-gear selector handle or valve could result in the failure of the landing gear down locks to engage due to back pressure.