Birds Bring Down Falcon 20

 - February 13, 2007, 5:48 AM

The NTSB recently released its preliminary report on a Falcon 20 that crashed September 1 during takeoff after encountering numerous birds. After rotating off the runway at Ohio's Lorain County Regional Airport, at an altitude of about 15 feet the USA Jet Airlines jet (N821AA) hit "a flock of birds [coming] from both sides of the runway," which "warmed in front of the aircraft," and birds were ingested into both engines. The number-two engine "surged" and the pilots heard "loud reports" before the copilot noted a complete loss of power of the number-two engine. Attempting to land, the Falcon hit the runway with the landing gear retracted, about 3,000 feet beyond the point of rotation. It slid off the end of the runway, crashed through a fence, crossed a road and came to rest in a field about 1,000 feet beyond the initial point of ground contact. The pilot was not injured, and the copilot received minor injuries. VMC prevailed for the cargo flight, destined for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.