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18th of September 2012 Blog #541

10 years ago to date a Beechcraft Beechjet 400 was operating an Executive flight from Charleston Int. Airport (South Carolina, USA) to Macon Downtown Airport (Georgia, USA). Onboard a crew of two and one passenger with his dog.

The aircraft shortly after coming to stop (Source; © Unknown)

At 09.30 local time, with all preparations completed and the passenger onboard the aircraft departed Charleston for the ~205 miles (~330 kilometres) flight and climbed to 16.000 feet for a short cruise flight, before starting the descent to Macon. While approximately 11 miles from their destination the crew became visual with their destination and subsequently cancelled their IFR flight plan after which afteMacon Radar Approach ATC cleared them for a visual approach. While on the approach a rain shower crossed over the field, creating a short but "heavy downpour". The reference approach speed (Vref) was determined to be 108 knots, which was (according to the crew) set on the Airsped Indicator by means of the index bug.

The aircraft in its final position, resting against the tree (© NTSB)

The co-pilot activated the runway lights for runway 28 utilizing the VHF frequency for the Macon common traffic advisory. Three seconds after the activation of the runway lights the PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) switched off, and could not be reactivated. The approach was continued and the aircraft landed within the first 1000 feet of the runway. As a result of the heavy rain shortly before landing the aircraft started hydroplane on the standing water. Maximum reverse thrust, braking and groundspoilers were deployed. This was not enough to stop the aircraft on the available runway length (4694 feet). The airplane departed the end of the runway into the grass, went down an embankment, across a road, and into trees, coming to a stop 183 feet from the runway against a tree (7" in diameter). All occupants evacuated the aircraft, both pilots received minor injuries, the passenger was unjiured (no information was found on the condition of the passengers'fog)

Damage to the aircraft was extensive, it was written off as damaged beyond repair;

  • Impact damage to the nose section of the aircraft

  • Nose landing gear failed

  • Imapct damage to the wings and flaps

  • Lower fuselage suffered impact damage

  • Wrinkled upper fuselage

The aircraft being recovered, showing the extensive damage (Source © Unknown)

The National Transportation Safety Board was alerted and an investigation was launched. and 21 months after the accident the investigation report was published. As part other of the investigation radar data of the approach analysed, this revealed;

  1. Actual airspeed was 15 to 19 knots above Vref (110 knots) At Vref+10 the aircraft would have required 6100 feet of ruwnay to stop.

  2. The approach was flown at a 4º glideslope, instead of the recommended 3º glideslope.

It was determined the probable cause(s) of this accident to was;

"The pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed, which resulted in the airplane touching down too fast on the wet runway with inadequate runway remaining to stop and a subsequent runway overrun. Contributing to the landing overrun were the flight crewmembers’ failure to correctly use the appropriate performance chart to calculate the runway required to stop on a contaminated runway and their general lack of proper crew resource management."

Wrinkeled upper fuselage (© NTSB)

The NTSB report, on which this blog is based, is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the .pdf file below;

Beechjet 400 Runway overrun 18-Sep-2012
Download PDF • 130KB

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