On December 30, 1994, at 0847 hours mountain standard time, the pilot of a Cessna 207, N91090, veered off runway 11 and collided with barricades and a runway construction berm at Sierra Vista Municipal Airport at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, during a Part 135 cargo flight. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was not injured. The pilot filed a company flight plan and departed Chandler, Arizona, at 0730. While en route to Fort Huachuca, the pilot requested and received an instrument flight rules clearance due to weather conditions at altitude. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The investigation revealed the pilot was asked by the Libby Army Airfield Radar controller, while approaching Fort Huachuca, if she had received information Alpha, which she had not. The controller gave the winds at 210 degrees at 11 knots with the altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. The pilot confirmed later she had received this information, but the controllers neglected to mention the runway construction on runway 26 or the usable length of runway 11 being only 3,000 feet. She stated she had checked the NOTAMs the night before, but there was no mention of the barricades on runway 11 or the shortened runway length.
The pilot was subsequently cleared to land on runway 11. The pilot stated she was high on the approach and kept some power on the engine due to ice on the airframe accumulated while en route. She did not use flaps and landed near the taxiway, just past the threshold. She did not notice the barricades on the runway until after she was on the ground. She applied the brakes, but realized the aircraft was not going to stop before the construction area and added power to go around. The aircraft collided with the barricades and the right main landing gear hit some concrete construction. The aircraft skidded to the right and into the dirt. She exited the aircraft and estimated the windsock was indicating a 30-knot tailwind. She also mentioned the brightness of the sun in front of her during the approach.
The weather observation at the airport at 0847 was (in part): 1,200 scattered clouds; visibility 45 miles; winds from 210 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 17 knots.
Information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reveals that U.S. Army personnel at Fort Huachuca posted a NOTAM regarding the runway construction on September 20, 1994, through military channels and by direct communication with the Prescott Flight Service Station (FSS). The NOTAM indicated that the southeast 2,300 feet of runway 11 was closed. Once this information is published in the NOAA Airport/Facility Directory, the NOTAM is removed from the system.
Further research indicates that this information is not reflected in the Jeppesen Approach Charts, the J-AID Airport Directory, or the NOAA (U.S. Gov't.) Approach Charts. However, Jeppesen does have NOTAM information available through a subscriber service. The aircraft operator did not subscribe to this service. The operator has indicated that the Jeppesen Charts were utilized at the time, but the NOAA Airport/Facility Directory was used by only a few of the pilots.
The FAA has reviewed the operations specifications for the operator and found that they were not required to have the NOAA information for airports. Since the accident, the FAA now requires the operator to use this airport directory in addition to other publications for information.
A spokesman for the operator indicated that the pilot had flown into the airport on at least three occasions (October 23 & 24, 1994, and December 20, 1994) after the NOTAM was issued and should have been aware of the runway construction.