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N989AL accident description

Connecticut map... Connecticut list
Crash location 41.478334°N, 73.135000°W
Nearest city Oxford, CT
41.430096°N, 73.134833°W
3.3 miles away
Tail number N989AL
Accident date 17 Jun 2002
Aircraft type Learjet 35A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 17, 2002, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Learjet 35A, N989AL, operated by Business Air Service, received minor damage during a touch and go landing at Oxford-Waterbury Airport (OXC), Oxford, Connecticut. The certificated flight instructor and the commercial pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight. No flight plan had been filed for the flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The purpose of the flight was initial airplane familiarization for the commercial pilot, who had already completed ground school. The flight departed OXC, and the commercial pilot performed air work under the supervision of the flight instructor. The flight then returned to OXC for takeoff and landing practice.

The commercial pilot reported that the flight had been cleared for a visual approach to runway 36, with the "option." The airplane touched down about 1,100 feet from the approach end of the runway, and he applied reverse thrust. When the airplane was about 2,600 feet from the approach end of the runway, he heard the flight instructor call that the wing flaps were set at 8 degrees, and to "go" or proceed with a touch and go. He moved the thrust levers out of reverse, and applied power to takeoff. The engines had spooled up to about 92 percent when the airplane veered left of the runway centerline. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and tracked as straight as possible until it came to a stop off the runway.

The flight instructor reported the landing by the commercial pilot was normal with touchdown in the first 1,000 feet of runway. After touchdown, he reset the flaps to 8 degrees, and reported this to the commercial pilot, and called for the "go." As power was applied and the touch and go initiated, the airplane veered to the left. The flight instructor was unable to keep the airplane on the runway with braking, and continued off the runway onto soft grass for a distance of about 1,500 feet.

In addition, the flight instructor reported that he had briefed the commercial pilot on the possibility of a touch and go. He had not briefed the commercial pilot to not use reverse thrust during a touch and go landing. He also reported that his feet were on the floor, and he did not assume control of the airplane until it was departing the left side of the runway. The flight instructor further reported that the airplane was equipped with pneumatically operated thrust reversers. He said that the cycle speed to stow or extend them was slower than hydraulically actuated reversers, and that occasionally both reversers would not achieve the stowed position, or the fully extended position together, even though the actuation of both reversers had been initiated together.

The FAA inspector reported that when he examined the airplane flight manual after the incident, the flight manual supplement for thrust reversers had not been installed in the flight manual. The following limitations and cautions were contained in the missing supplement.

Section 1 - Limitations

"Thrust Reversers must not be used for touch-and-go landing."

In addition, the following caution was contained in the AFTER LANDING checklist:

"Do not advance power lever above IDLE until the DEPLOY and UNLOCK lights are out."

The commercial pilot reported that he was not aware of the limitation and caution prior to the incident flight.

The flight instructor reported that he was aware of the limitation and caution, and had not planned on the commercial pilot applying reverse thrust. In addition, he said he did not observe the commercial pilot apply reverse thrust and was unaware that it had been initiated when he commanded the commercial pilot to advance the thrust levers for takeoff.

Both pilots reported that their vision was outside the cockpit and they did not see the thrust reverser lights.

Runway 36 was 5,000 feet long, 100 feet wide, and had a grooved asphalt surface. The inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reported that the runway was dry.

According to recorded weather at the airport, at 1215, the winds were from 280 degrees at 8 knots. At 1235, the winds were from 180 degrees at 8 knots, with gusts to 14 knots.

Examination of the airplane by an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), revealed that mud was impacted in both engines and the landing gear. Subsequent examination of the airplane and engines revealed minor damage.

NTSB Probable Cause

The flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the commercial pilot during a touch and go landing, including his failure to properly brief the commercial to not use reverse thrust during a touch and go landing.

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