Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Hawker Hunter Mk 58, N344AX: Incident occurred October 21, 2019 at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (KPHF), Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond

Aircraft landed and gear collapsed. 

TVPX Aircraft  Solutions Inc Trustee

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company


Date: 21-OCT-19

Time: 13:38:00Z
Regis#: N344AX
Aircraft Model: HUNTER
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

For the second time this year, a military training jet skidded off the runway Monday morning at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

Both incidents involved landing gear malfunctions, according to preliminary reports from Virginia State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Monday’s crash happened around 9:35 a.m., according to a news release from airport spokeswoman Jennifer Spratley.

The contract military aircraft, which Spratley said is based at the airport, landed on the runway before sliding off. The airport’s second runway remained open and no flights have been affected.

The plane came to rest with its forward gear on the runway and tail in the grass, a photo from state police spokeswoman Michelle Anaya shows.

According to Anaya, the crash was considered “minor” and stemmed from a landing gear issue. No one was injured.

The plane is a Hawker Siddeley Hunter MK-58 manufactured in 1959, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration for the plane’s tail number. The plane is owned by Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., a Newport News-based defense contractor and division of Textron that helps train military pilots.

The same kind of plane was involved in a crash May 9, according to a preliminary accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

In that incident, a recently-hired airline transport pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings at the airport — coming in for a landing, briefly touching down and then taking off again.

After the third touch-and-go landing, the pilot told the NTSB the landing gear was retracted. But one of the landing gear was showing an “unsafe” indicator.

The pilot, after talking to an ATAC flight instructor on the ground, lowered the landing gear again in-flight. The indicator showed all three gear were down, but a hydraulic warning lock came on afterwards. The flight instructor saw hydraulic fluid “streaming from the right side of the airplane.”

According to the preliminary report, the plane lost hydraulic boosting of some of its controls. When he landed, the landing gear that’d shown “unsafe” immediately collapsed.

The plane wound up veering off the right side of the runway despite the pilot’s efforts to keep the plane on the tarmac. He wasn’t injured in the crash.

John Rupp, a spokesman for ATAC, declined to comment on the May crash, saying he wasn’t with the company at the time. He confirmed that the plane was one of ATAC’s but said the cause was under investigation.

“There’s no preliminary indications," Rupp said. "Our guys are on the scene — first of all to help the airport, and second of all to get the aircraft and see what, if anything, was a technical issue.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.dailypress.com

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