Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Beechcraft 99A (F) Airliner Freighter, N499CZ: Accident occurred October 14, 2020 at Waterville-Robert LaFleur Airport (KWVL), Kennebec County, Maine

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Location: Waterville, ME
Accident Number: ERA21LA021
Date & Time: October 14, 2020, 08:20 Local 
Registration: N499CZ
Aircraft: Beech 99 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 14, 2020, about 0820 eastern daylight time, a Beechcraft 99, N499CZ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Waterville Robert LaFleur Airport (WVL), Waterville, Maine. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 cargo flight.

According to the pilot, the landing at WVL was not “firm or hard” and during the subsequent landing roll, he used reverse thrust and minimal braking to slow the airplane to a “standard taxi speed.” As he initiated a right turn to exit the runway onto the taxiway, the airplane’s right main landing gear collapsed, resulting in substantial damage to the right wing.

An examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the site revealed the drag leg of the right main landing gear was fractured.

The airplane was retained for further examination and the fractured portion of the landing gear was removed and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N499CZ
Model/Series: 99 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KWVL,310 ft msl
Observation Time: 07:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 330°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.72 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Manchester, NH (MHT)
Destination: Waterville, ME

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 44.531471,-69.676932 (est)

WATERVILLE, Maine — A pilot escaped injury Wednesday morning when the landing gear collapsed shortly after landing at Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport.

Following the landing, the small commercial plane was turning onto the taxiway around 8 a.m. when the right landing gear collapsed, damaging the plane and causing a leak of hydraulic fluid.

The Beechcraft 99A (F) Airliner Freighter, operated by Freight Runners Express, was carrying a load of United Parcel Services packages from Manchester, New Hampshire, to Waterville, according to airport Manager Randy Marshall.

The Waterville fire and police departments responded to the scene, where the blue and white plane was listing to the right on the taxiway.

“The incident plan we put together worked perfectly,” Marshall said just after 9 a.m., as the pilot walked around the plane, surveying the damage. “Luckily, it was a relatively minor incident, all things considered.”

Marshall said the runways were shut down after the incident and officials were awaiting Federal Aviation Administration permission to move the aircraft, which has moderate damage to the landing gear wing.

“I’ve been in touch with the regional operations center and the Portland field office and we’re coordinating,” Marshall said.

The plane landed on Runway 2-3, heading south, and was getting ready to turn right onto the taxiway when the landing gear collapsed, according to Marshall.

“As he negotiated the turn, the landing gear just let go,” he said.

He said Freight Runners has been operating at the city-owned airport only for the last couple of months. Wiggins Airways operated from the airport previously.

“Freight Runners has been phenomenal to work with,” he said. “Their aircraft always appears to be in great shape. This was just a freak thing.”

At the scene Wednesday morning, sawdust and absorbent pads covered the hydraulic fluid. Marshall said there had been no fuel leak.

“Everything went really well,” Marshall said. “I’m just glad nobody was hurt. We should have a maintenance crew on-site from Manchester, New Hampshire, around lunchtime, and we’ll coordinate with Central Maine crane out of Oakland. They’ll come and assist in getting the plane hoisted. We’ll look at what we need to do to get the aircraft off the field. We’ll come up with a game plan on having it safely removed. We’ll probably be open around three or four o’clock this afternoon.”

Freight Runners is a U.S. aircraft carrier based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The planes carry UPS packages to and from Manchester, New Hampshire, daily, according to Marshall.

Marshall responded to the incident Wednesday, though he is on vacation and slated to be married on Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. Which is a greater miracle? That airport Manager Randy Marshall's "incident plan ... worked perfectly,” or that the "relatively minor event" was a non-event?


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