Two business jet accidents within two weeks at Groton-New London Airport, Conn., have renewed safety concerns and allegations by local residents of a lack of response to noise complaints. On August 4 a Learjet 35 crashed while attempting to land at the Connecticut airport. The two pilots were killed and at least two homes were destroyed. On August 17, a Learjet 25 ran off the runway at Groton, following birdstrikes and an aborted takeoff.
GATES LEARJET 25B, PITTSBURGH, PA., NOV. 22, 2001–At 1:05 p.m. EDT Learjet N5UJ, operated by Universal Jet Aviation of Boca Raton, Fla., was destroyed when it veered off Runway 28L (11,500 by 200 feet) during an attempted takeoff at Pittsburgh International Airport. Both crew-members were killed. They were the only occupants aboard the Part 91 repositioning flight to Boca Raton. The aircraft was in VMC on an IFR flight plan.
LEARJET 25, ITHACA, N.Y., AUG. 24, 2001–The NTSB determined the probable cause of this accident to be the pilot’s failure to maintain a proper climb rate while taking off at night, resulting in spatial disorientation. Additional factors included low visibility and cloud conditions, and the dark night.
The Learjet 40 received its FAA type certificate on July 11 as an amendment to the certification of the Learjet 45 from which it is derived. The Learjet 40 is a truncated (by 24.5 inches) version of the Learjet 45, sharing most of the same systems. Delivery of the first customer aircraft is expected early next year.
Spirit Wing Aviation of Guthrie, Okla., planned to have its Williams FJ44-powered Learjet 25D prototype back in the air by the end of last month, following its grounding after about eight hours of flight testing that started with its January 9 first flight.
Gone are the days of heavy, bulky window shades with accordion pleats. Gone are the sliding shades that always seemed to jam in the wrong place at the wrong time. Welcome to the “smart window” from InspecTech Aero Service and Research Frontiers, makers of a window without a shade that changes from clear to opaque with the movement of a flat-panel sliding switch.
LEARJET 25B, PITTSBURGH, PA., NOV. 22, 2001–On Thanksgiving Day a business jet owned by Universal Jet Aviation crashed while on takeoff. The two pilots on board were headed home to Florida’s Boca Raton Airport (BCT) in clear skies and good visibility. Airborne for mere moments, the Learjet ran off the left side of Runway 28L and burst into flames, killing both pilots.
The Avcon Industries Learjet 25 aft fuselage delta fin development program came to an abrupt halt last June 12 when, during a key pre-modification flight test, the aircraft was destroyed in a crash landing, seriously injuring the two pilots–company president Larry Franke and contract test pilot Bob Fisher.
Avcon Industries, manufacturer of aft fuselage delta fins and other mods to improve directional stability and increase payload/range capability for the Learjet 35/36, will resume work to obtain STCs for similar mods on the Learjet 25. The Newton, Kan. company’s Learjet 25 development program was abruptly shattered on June 12 when, during a key flight test, the aircraft was destroyed in a crash landing, seriously injuring the two pilots.
Investigators have started their probe into the crash of a Universal Jet Aviation (Boca Raton, Fla.) Learjet 25B, N5UJ, as it was taking off from Pittsburgh International Airport at about 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Pilots Chris Mitchell and Harry Fitts, the jet’s only occupants, were killed when the airplane crashed and burned on the left side of Runway 28L. Weather was reported as 10 mi visibility, with wind 200 deg at five knots.