Saturday, June 01, 2019

Learjet 35A, N55FN: Accident occurred December 15, 2018 at Key West International Airport (KEYW), Monroe County, Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Key West, FL
Accident Number: ERA19LA073
Date & Time: 12/15/2018, 0933 EST
Registration: N55FN
Aircraft: Learjet 35
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On December 15, 2018, about 0933 eastern standard time, a Learjet 35A, N55FN, was substantially damaged during landing at Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida. The captain, first officer, and two passengers were not injured. The flight was operated by Medway Air Ambulance as a positioning flight conducted under provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Gwinnett County Airport (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia, about 0730.

The first officer flew their initial approach at EYW to runway 9. They were unable to see the runway prior to the missed approach point and performed a missed approach. During the missed approach they encountered turbulence and the captain took the flight controls. He requested vectors to the north for better weather and to hold for a while to watch the development of the weather and determine if they needed to divert to their alternate. Air traffic control (ATC) advised them an airplane had just landed and asked if they wanted to try another approach. During the second approach, ATC advised the crew that the winds had shifted and offered runway 27. The captain stated their approach to runway 27 was uneventful. As they crossed the threshold and began to flare, they could not arrest the descent and landed hard. They had calculated an approach speed of 124 knots and maintained it within 10 knots. They believed they encountered wind shear during the flare.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane and noted there was substantial damage to the left engine pylon, left wing, and main landing gear.

The captain held an airline pilot transport certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi engine land. He held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on February 20, 2018. He reported a total flight experience of 1,950 total flight hours, 1,150 hours in the accident airplane make and model.

The first officer held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single- and multi engine land, and instrument airplane. He held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on September 9, 2018. He reported a total flight experience of 1,634 total flight hours, 320 hours in the accident airplane make and model.

At 0930, the weather conditions reported at EYW included, wind from 350° at 11 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken ceilings at 600 ft, 2,600 ft, and 7,500 ft, temperature 23°C, dew point 21°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Learjet
Registration: N55FN
Model/Series: 35 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Medway Air Ambulance
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: Y6WA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEYW, 21 ft msl
Observation Time: 0930 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 350°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Lawrenceville, GA (LZU)
Destination: Key West, FL (EYW)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 4 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude:  24.556111, -81.753611 (est)

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