NTSB Identification: ERA14MA271
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Bedford, MA
Aircraft: GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE G IV, registration: N121JM
Injuries: 7 Fatal.
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. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 31, 2014, about 2140 eastern daylight time, a Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation G-IV, N121JM, operated by SK Travel LLC., was destroyed after a rejected takeoff and runway excursion at Laurence G. Hanscom Field (BED), Bedford, Massachusetts. The two pilots, a flight attendant, and four passengers were fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight destined for Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Atlantic City, New Jersey. The business flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The airplane was based at New Castle Airport (ILG), Wilmington, Delaware, and co-owned by one of the passengers, through a limited liability company. According to preliminary information, the airplane departed ILG earlier in the day, flew to ACY, and then to BED. The airplane landed at BED about 1545 and remained parked on the ramp at one of the fixed base operators. The crew remained with the airplane until the passengers returned. No maintenance or fuel services were requested by the crew.
The airplane was subsequently cleared for takeoff from runway 11, a 7,011-foot-long, 150-foot wide, grooved, asphalt runway. A witness observed the airplane on the takeoff roll at a "high speed" with "little to no altitude gained." The airplane subsequently rolled off the end of the runway, on to a runway safety area, and then on to grass. The airplane continued on the grass, where it struck approach lighting and a localizer antenna assembly, before coming to rest in a gully, on about runway heading, about 1,850 feet from the end of the runway. A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the airplane aft of the cockpit; however; all major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The nose gear and left main landing gear separated during the accident sequence and were located on the grass area between the safety area and the gully.
Tire marks consistent with braking were observed to begin about 1,300 feet from the end of runway 11. The tire marks continued for about another 1,000 feet through the paved runway safety area.
The airplane was equipped with an L-3 Communications FA-2100 cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and an L-3 Communications F1000 flight data recorder (FDR), which were recovered and forwarded to the Safety Board's Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC for readout.
Initial review of CVR and FDR data revealed that the airplane's ground roll began about 49 seconds before the end of the CVR recording. The CVR captured callouts of 80 knots, V1, and rotate. After the rotate callout, the CVR captured comments concerning aircraft control. FDR data indicated the airplane reached a maximum speed of 165 knots during the takeoff roll and did not lift off the runway. FDR data further indicated thrust reversers were deployed and wheel brake pressures increased as the airplane decelerated. The FDR data ended about 7 seconds after thrust reverser deployment, with the airplane at about 100 knots. The FDR data did not reveal evidence of any catastrophic engine failures and revealed thrust lever angles consistent with observed engine performance. Review of FDR data parameters associated with the flight control surface positions did not reveal any movement consistent with a flight control check prior to the commencement of the takeoff roll. The flap handle in the cockpit was observed in the 10 degree detent. FDR data indicated a flap setting of 20 degrees during the takeoff attempt.
The airplane was equipped with a mechanical gust lock system, which could be utilized to lock the ailerons and rudder in the neutral position, and the elevator in the down position to protect the control surfaces from wind gusts while parked. A mechanical interlock was incorporated in the gust lock handle mechanism to restrict the movement of the throttle levers to a minimal amount (6-percent) when the gust lock handle was engaged.
The FDR data revealed the elevator control surface position during the taxi and takeoff was consistent with its position if the gust lock was engaged. The gust lock handle, located on the right side of the control pedestal, was found in the forward (OFF) position, and the elevator gust lock latch was found not engaged.
The wreckage was retained for further examination to be performed at a later date. The airplane was also equipped with a quick-access-recorder (QAR), which was retained for download.
The certificated airplane transport pilot, who was seated in the right seat, reported 18,500 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate, which was issued on February 4, 2014.
The certificated airline transport copilot, who was seated in the left seat, reported 11,250 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA first-class medical certificate, which was issued on April 15, 2014.
Both pilots completed a Gulfstream IV recurrent pilot-in-command course and proficiency check during September 2013. At that time, the pilot and copilot reported 2,800 and 1,400 hours of total flight experience in G-IV series airplanes; respectively.
Initial review of maintenance records revealed that at the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 4,950 total hours and 2,745 landings.
The reported weather at BED, at 2156, included calm winds, visibility 10 miles; clear skies; temperature 8 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 30.28 inches of mercury.
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