Despite a prediction in early October that its Williams FJ44-powered Learjet 25D would make its first flight within two weeks, Guthrie, Okla.-based Spirit Wing had yet to fly the airplane last month, but it “could happen before the end of the year,” Mike Pinwell, director of operations, said. “First flight is really, really, really, really close,” he told AIN. “We’re taking care of some maintenance issues.
GATES LEARJET 25B, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., SEPT. 4, 2004–Both tires blew when Learjet N47MR was taking off from Colorado Springs Airport. The Part 135 Lifeguard flight was flown by an ATP pilot. The airplane was substantially damaged but none of the four people on board was injured.
At last month’s NBAA Convention, Spirit Wing Aviation of Edmond, Okla., announced that it will begin producing its “virtually new” Spirit-Lear early next year. The company said the $2.2 million SpiritLear–a re-engined Learjet 25–will be priced lower than any other airplane offering its combination of speed, range and passenger capacity.
Bombardier Learjet 25B, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dec. 20, 2004–Learjet N252BK collided with a berm following a loss of directional control while landing on 6,200-foot Runway 13 at Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), Cedar Rapids. The ATP-rated captain, commercial copilot and two medical crewmembers were not injured. The Part 91 positioning flight was being conducted in VMC with an instrument flight plan on file.
LEARJET 25, ITHACA, N.Y., AUG. 24, 2001–Investigators are delving into the circumstances that caused a Learjet to crash into a fence on takeoff from the Tompkins County Airport in Ithaca. The flight lasted only seconds and the business jet came to rest less than half a mile from the departure end of Runway 32. Both of the ATP-rated pilots perished.
Williams International launched the 3,500-pound-thrust FJ44-4, a FADEC-equipped turbofan engine that uses essentially the same core as the 3,000-pound-thrust FJ44-3. Detailed performance parameters are being kept under tight wraps until an application for the new engine is announced. A spokesman for Williams International, based in Walled Lake, Mich., said at the show the company is just now beginning to market the engine to potential OEMs.
There were no serious injuries or major damage initially reported following three separate incidents of business jets rolling off dry runways on April 21. A Premier I (N390BW) veered off the side of Runway 27 while landing at Windham Airport, Conn. A Learjet 25B (N24RZ) ran off the end of Runway 9R and blew a tire on landing at Tamiami Airport near Miami.
LEARJET 25B, DEL RIO, TEXAS, SEPT. 19, 2003–Learjet 25B N666TW was destroyed when it overran the departure end of Runway 13 while landing at the Del Rio International Airport (DRT). The ATP-rated captain was killed, and the first officer was seriously injured. VMC prevailed for the Part 91 repositioning flight. The airplane was being operated by Ameristar Jet Charter, of Dallas, a Part 135 on-demand air taxi cargo operator.
First flight of a Williams FJ44-2C-powered Learjet 25D continues to be a moving target as Guthrie, Okla.-based Spirit Wing awaits delivery of the engine nacelles from Nordam. The design of the stainless steel inlets is made more complex by the fact that they must act as radiators to dissipate the 800-deg F heat of the FJ44’s bleed air, which will provide full-time anti-ice protection to the engines.
Bombardier Learjet 35, Seattle, July 13, 2007–Learjet N35WE veered off Runway 13 at Boeing Field on landing. The problem was initially reported to the FAA as a hydraulic failure. No one was injured and there was no damage to the Learjet, which is registered to BS Leasing of Dover, Del.