Spoiler Issue May Be Factor in Fatal GIV-SP Crash

 - January 20, 2022, 1:16 PM

A preliminary report indicates asymmetrical spoiler deployment may be a factor in the December 15 crash of a Gulfstream IV-SP in the Dominican Republic. The two pilots, cabin attendant, and six passengers were killed in the accident. Registered as HI-1050 to Helidosa Aviation Group, the twinjet was operating under Dominican Part 135 regulations on a planned charter flight to Orlando, Florida.

According to the report, HI-1050 arrived at Higuero/La Isabela-Dr. Joaquín Balaguer Airport earlier that day, following a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico. En route, there was communication between the crew and the company that the right-wing spoiler actuators were to be replaced following that flight. After arrival, the aircraft was towed to the Helidosa hangar, where the company worked for three hours to replace the right-wing ground spoiler actuators.

Security video shows the aircraft still being worked on after being taken from the hangar to the ramp. After the crew and passengers boarded, CCTV footage shows the pilots doing a control check. The spoilers on both wings extended, but only those on the left wing retracted again. The aircraft was seen taxiing for departure with the three spoilers on the right wing still extended. Later, an image of the airplane in flight captured by a witness on the ground showed that the right-wing spoilers were still extended, but the ones on the left wing were not.

After takeoff flight control problems developed immediately. The flight crew declared an emergency and requested vectors back to Higuero. As the situation progressed, they decided to divert to Las Américas International Airport, where they were cleared to land on Runway 35. However, the aircraft passed over the runway while turning left just inside the approach end. It hit trees and then the terrain about 650 feet to the right of the runway. Total duration of the flight was about 16 minutes. VMC prevailed. Transcription from the CVR is being analyzed.