NTSB Identification: DFW05CA060.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 21, 2005 in San Antonio, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Sabreliner Corp. 40, registration: XB-JGI
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

In a written statement, the 5,000-hour commercial pilot reported that after starting the right engine and completing a pre-taxi checklist on the ramp, he noted that all of the indications given by the instruments were normal. He was then cleared to taxi, so he turned the steering control on and advanced the power. The airplane moved straight ahead, and the pilot attempted to make a left turn. It was at this time that he realized his inputs to steer were ineffective. The airplane continued straight ahead. The pilot attempted to stop the airplane by applying pressure to the brakes and then the emergency brake, but these actions were ineffective as well. The airplane continued forward and passed between two aircraft that were parked on the ramp, striking the airplane on its left with the left wing tip. The pilots then shut down the right engine, and the airplane continued in its forward momentum until it finally came to a halt. Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the hydraulic fluid reservoir was empty, and the cockpit hydraulic pressure gauges indicated 2,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The thrust reversers on the airplane had undergone maintenance prior to the accident at their home base. The maintenance manual for the airplane states, "An operational test of the hydraulic power system must be performed if a unit has been replaced, if adjustments have been made to any unit, or if hydraulic lines have been disconnected. The test must be thorough enough to ensure that the system is free of hydraulic leaks and that no malfunction could occur because of improper maintenance." The manual goes on to state, "Because of allowable indication error in the hydraulic pressure indicating system, the pressure on the gauge may not be the actual system pressure. For this reason, the indication error of the hydraulic pressure gauge and pressure transmitter should be known, if these instruments are used to determine the serviceability of hydraulic units." A representative of the DGAC of Mexico examined the airplane on February 21, 2005, and found air in the hydraulic system. Hydraulic fluid was added to the system, and an operational check of the airplane's two separate hydraulic pumps was performed, which revealed no anomalies.

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

The failure of the aircraft hydraulic system as result of improper maintenance by company maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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