NTSB Identification: NYC01LA054.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 06, 2000 in CHARLESTON, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2001
Aircraft: Embraer 120RT, registration: N504AS
Injuries: 1 Serious,18 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

An Embraer 120RT struck two deer on the runway during a night landing at a tower-operated, rural, mountaintop airport. At the time, skies were overcast, and light snow was falling. The tip of a propeller blade from the number 2 engine separated, and punctured the airplane's fuselage. A runway inspection had commenced shortly before the accident, but the inspection vehicle had not yet reached the area where the accident occurred. There were two breaches in the perimeter fence. Perimeter fence maintenance inspections had been conducted monthly, but were later scheduled to be increased during fall and winter seasons due to higher volumes of deer and greater deer activity. A program to clear the fence line of all brush and weeds, and remove all trees and brush inside the fence, was scheduled to begin during the spring of 2002. Deer elimination procedures within the fence perimeter were in effect; however, as a result of the accident, they were expanded to include deer near the fence. At the time of the accident, a yearlong wildlife management study was scheduled to commence in August 2001.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Deer on the runway. Factors included reduced visibility due to nighttime lighting and light snow conditions, breaches in the perimeter fence, increased seasonal deer activity, and the rural location of the airport.

Full narrative available

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