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N999LJ Learjet 60 crashes on take-off SC.

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N999LJ Learjet 60 crashes on take-off SC.

Old 20th Sep 2008, 11:48
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N999LJ Learjet 60 crashes on take-off SC.

************************************************************
NTSB ADVISORY
************************************************************
National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594
September 20, 2008
************************************************************
NTSB LAUNCHES TEAM TO INVESTIGATE BUSINESS JET CRASH IN
SOUTH CAROLINA
************************************************************
The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a Go
Team to investigate the crash of a business jet at Columbia
Metropolitan Airport in West Columbia, South Carolina.
The Learjet 60 (N999LJ) crashed on take-off at 11:53 p.m.
EDT on Friday. Of the six people on board, two crewmembers
and two passengers were fatally injured.
NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Bill English has been
designated as Investigator-in-Charge. NTSB Board Member
Debbie Hersman will serve as principal spokesman during the
on-scene investigation.
The Safety Board's 11-member team includes two
representatives from the Office of Transportation Disaster
Assistance. Peter Knudson will accompany the team as press
officer.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 13:02
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N999LJ crash

From Fox News

COLUMBIA, S.C. Officials say a Learjet has crashed while departing from a Columbia, S.C., airport, killing four people on board and injuring two others.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the plane carrying six people was departing shortly before midnight Friday when air traffic controllers reporting seeing sparks. She says the plane went off the runway and crashed on a nearby road.

Bergen says the Lear 60 was headed to Van Nuys, Calif.

She didn't have the names of those killed and didn't know the conditions of the two people injured.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 13:42
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I don't want to be known as "Mr. Flaps", but I couldn't see any flaps extended in the pictures on tv. The pictures on tv showed a very demolished plane, though it seems the stab trim was in a proper position for takeoff.

1. How much flap is usually used for takeoff in this type?

2. can anyone clearly see flaps deployed in the pictures?

3. how does takeoff warning system work?

4. both runways at KCAE are 8000feet plus long.

5. sparks...seen by controllers...could be many sources, among them: engine, brakes, tail skid/tail on rotation

6. did you see investigator "sniffing" something on the video feed?
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 14:17
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according CNN, 2 survivors, who are currently hospitalized:
Travis Barker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and
Adam Goldstein - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 14:33
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Don't forget that wing slats may be in the investigation protocol to be considered.

The investigator is probably sniffing a visible fluid on the grass to identify it.

I tend to do this in my driveway from underneath my car to decide if it's simply the residue from my air conditioning unit or something more sinister.

looks like wings level damage so it may not have even gotten airborne
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 14:35
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I haven't flown lears, but I am relatively sure that they don't have slats...flaps yes, but not slats.

any lear guys out there to confirm?

I would think the investigator is sniffing fuel...but use your own imagination.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 14:42
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Looks like Rwy 11

5/23 Notamed closed since July and state road 32 crosses the departure end of 11 but not 29.

The State | 09/20/2008 | Perfomers' jet crashes in Columbia

"Air traffic controllers saw sparks coming from the runway" during the takeoff roll? High speed tire blowout or an over-rotation?
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:00
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Slats

I fly Lear 60's, so this hits pretty close to home. No they do not have slats. Flaps are normally set to 20 degrees for takeoff, so they should be visible.

Flaps are only set to 8 degrees for takeoff when departing from mountainous airports, when a higher climb gradient is required.

The takeoff warning horn will sound when thrust levers are advanced past 80% and the flaps are not set at either 8 degrees or 20 degrees (i.e. up or down).

Sparks would indicate, to me, that something was dragging from the aircraft, what this might be, I don't have an idea.

If the takeoff warning horn was sounding, "and" they continued the takeoff, at rotation, they may have put the tail on the ground, and had some sparks from that. If anyone can get a good look at the delta fins to see if there are any drag marks, or if they are worn down, that might help provide some insight.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:03
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Mechanical Issue??

If you look at Flightaware FlightAware > Live Flight Tracker > History > N999LJ at the history of this aircraft, you will see a flight to Tulsa on Sept 12 that was diverted back to Teterboro. This may point to some type of Mechanical issue. There was another flight on Spet 18. This may have been a test flight after repairs done to the aircraft. I do not have any inside info, this is only an observation.

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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:10
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Thanks lear guy...new info says there is a trail of debris from runway to crash site...

I can't see flaps, 20 should be noticeable...but picture is terrible so we wwait for closeups
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:29
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Looks like the plane possibly went for some sort of maintenance flight out of TEB the day before:

FlightAware > Live Flight Tracker > N999LJ > 18-Sep-2008 > KTEB-KTEB
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:52
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Here's a link with better photos.

WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina | Four victim identified in Columbia plane crash
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 15:53
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NTSB just arrived on the scene in CAE, Deborah Hersman is briefing the press. She says it was a runway overrun on runway 11. The flight was an on demand part 135 charter with a destination of Van Nuys, California. She gives the operator as "Global Executive [sic] Aviation" probably these folks: Global Exec Aviation

She says the plane was about a year old.

Here's a link with better photos.
Hard to tell about the flaps, are they composite on the Lear 60?
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 17:25
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I'm a current Lear 60 pilot, too. The flaps were likely supposed to be at 20 for that takeoff. However, it is possible that in the post-crash fire that the flaps were damaged. Also, during the crash it is possible that the flaps were forced up by impact/damaged hydraulic lines, etc.

The flaps are not composite... normal aircraft metals.

Could be a high-speed abort I dunno.... the 60 has horrible wheels and brakes. They are the same from the 20 and 30-series lears (much smaller jets). Brake energy is real problem on the 60, even with brand new brakes and a test pilot flying.

Tragic... hate to see this type of stuff.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 19:25
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I would like to know the experience level of the pilots

I don't see reversers deployed

I don't see spoilers deployed

I don't think there was an aborted takeoff

the flaps are questionable only due to pictures available
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 19:38
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......

I don't see reversers deployed

I don't see spoilers deployed

I don't think there was an aborted takeoff

the flaps are questionable only due to pictures available
The aircraft was reasonably structurally intact and right side up and skidded off the runway leaving a trail to where it came to a stop so I do suspect it was aborted on the ground. Of course an examination of the runway itself would also give a clue.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 19:41
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You have to wonder what maint was performed in Teterboro, the airplane departed from that airport on 9/12 for Tulsa only to return a short while later. Then it appears a maint check flight was performed on 9/18.

I agree no abort, the big Lears only have marginal at best brakes, and it appears the reversers are stowed.

Fadec issues?

The WX was excellent, long runway, they didnt depart with a tailwind, it will be very interesting to see what they find.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:39
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Cockpit recorder recovered in fatal SC jet crash

By JIM DAVENPORT 58 minutes ago

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Investigators say they've recovered the cockpit voice recorder from a fiery South Carolina jet crash...

National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman said Saturday that the recorder has yet to be analyzed. She says authorities investigating the crash at Columbia Metropolitan Airport have yet to rule anything out for causing the crash, but the plane took off in clear weather.


...shortly before midnight Friday....

The airport remains closed.
4 killed in SC plane crash; drummer, DJ injured - Yahoo! News
It's no surprise they haven't analyzed the CVR yet.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:40
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The airplane was 60-314 and would be about 2 years old based on delivery schedules from 2007.

The last report that I got from an NBAA email indicates that the airplane did go airborne briefly, so flap and trim settings of the crashed aircraft may not be of any value for the Take-off configuration determination.

I personally prefer to use Flaps 8 when I have the runway for it. 20 will get you off the ground faster, but degrades 2nd segment climb. Flaps 20 was "mandated" by the Director of Learjet Flight Ops (and adopted by Flexjet on his sayso) in order to save wheels and brakes from a financial standpoint. There are multiple reasons for this, but the bottom line is that there is no "standard" setting. Either flap setting is acceptable according to design specifications as long as performance conditions in the AFM are met. I know this as fact because I was there at Learjet as a demo pilot when the airplane was certified.

There are very few composites on the LR60. Learjet found they did not save in weight, so they went back to metal. The gear doors were made of Kevlar at one time, but I do not think this is so now.

The Learjet 60 wing is the same wing as the Learjet 20/30/55 series with a 6 foot extension and a winglet added. No slats, no devices other than the stall kit devices/fences that help keep the airflow effective over the ailerons. The wing is critical. Polish the triangles (BLCD's) on the leading edge and you just changed the stall characteristics--requiring a factory test flight by a test pilot to re-certify. I've seen one late model airplane where the wing will stall and roll off PRIOR to any stall warning system indications because someone polished the BLCD's. It's that critical.

There are a number of things that I find odd about this accident. One is how the top of the airplane is gone, and the two survivors were apparently "thrown out".

For those of you wondering about a LR60's range and how they could plan KCAE-KVNY.... My personal record is 6 hrs and 21 min. coast to coast in the early LR60's which are much lighter than current production. (You won't get that range with 4 pax in a late model SN. If my customer was adamant about going non-stop, I would fuel to the max weight for the runway, file to VNY and try long range cruise. I would warn the pax that we will stop if it doesn't look good and the weather is not cooperating. This airplane has made fuel stops in GCK and SLN over the last couple of months according to FlightAware, so it doesn't look like the operator really did the non-stop coast to coast routinely.

I personally know the pilot, Sarah, and I am proud to say I tried to mentor her. VERY SHARP lady. Stanford graduate, fluent Spanish. She temporarily gave up her budding multi-engine pilot (& aerobatics instructor) career to follow her now ex-husband to a TSA job in the Northeast. With an FAA dispatcher's license in her pocket, she took a job with Bombardier Canadair/Learjet Flight Operations Dispatch in BDL. That's where I met her and she was GOOD at the job. However, her heart was in the cockpit, and watching pilots come and go daily made the longing to get back to her own pilot career even stronger. Bombardier's politics and changes forced her to make a choice and she took the chance we all take as pilots. She was called for an interpreter job for a Citation operator to go to South America. It was her big break and her first job in a jet. She took out a loan and paid for the Citation type rating when she got back. I know she spent at least 2 years flying Citations, and was offered a chief pilot position, but turned it down. About the same time one of my customers offered her a LR60 type rating to take a contract in Moscow on a 30 day rotation. She accepted it, and went to LR60 initial. The rotation job fizzled before she got to Moscow--due to internal problems within the management company and the Russian company. She then picked up a Citation VII type with Global Executive, and I believe she was flying SIC on a GIV in addtion to her type ratings. I last spoke to her in the May 2008 time frame. She was excited, things were going well, and the world was hers for the taking. She clearly no longer needed mentoring. HOW FAST THINGS CAN CHANGE.

Of course I want to know what happened and WHY as much as anyone. Sparks on take off. Probable maintenance issues just before the last flight.

All of you arm-chair quarterbacks/accident investigators, know this. The Achilles heel of the Learjet 60 would have to be it's wheels and brakes. This airplane was entitled to the triple brakes, but that does not reduce balanced field lengths if it did have them. IF you blow a tire at high speeds (V1 or close to it) you can take out the squat switch along with the tires.
No rubber left=brakes on asphalt=sparks.
No squat switch in ground mode on one side=no ground mode on airplane computers.
No ground mode=air mode.
Air mode=no brakes, no anti-skid, no spoilers, no thrust reversers. So, loose the squat switch from blown tire=emergency braking system is all you have left. Triple the stopping distance or more and that's after the shock of realizing you only have emergency braking.
8600 ft. rwy. where were they when it happened?

Looks to me like they were on or close to center line when they came to rest. Center line meant runway lights and antennas that opened up fuel tanks. Sparks + open fuel tanks....... BAD NEWS

I will miss the bright spot in my life that was Sarah. She may have been "low time" by some standards but the time she had was very very good. I will be VERY surprised if the final NTSB report says she screwed it up, but then let he who is the perfect pilot without errors, cast the first stone. Right or wrong, she paid the ultimate price. The fact that she broadcast "we're going off the end" to the tower tells me she had good situational awareness and was trying to alert the tower.

I don't know the other pilot or anything about him. I don't know who was PIC for the trip. Does it matter now?

BTW, of my 5 type ratings, the Learjet 60 is still my favorite airplane--even with its flaws. All airplanes have flaws. It's how we handle them and are aware of them that counts.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:57
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Learjet 60's

Still waiting final report from Lear 60 N9CU in August 2007.

NYC07LA202


Although this one remains as a memorable accident, a Lear 55 operated by Lear Jet Corp. while in South Africa, attempted unsuccessfully, a barrel roll at 155 knots and at a height of 690 feet. I believe the term is 'Watch This'!!!

ASN Aircraft accident Learjet 55 N57TA Waterkloof
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