On February 7, 1996, about 1600 eastern standard time, a Beech 1900D, N159YN, operated by Liberty Airlines (US Air Express), as Flight 5924 (ASH5924), collided with the ground while landing at the Bradford Airport, Bradford, Pennsylvania. The airplane received substantial damage. The crew of 2, and 12 passengers were not injured. Two passengers received minor injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed. The scheduled commuter flight had departed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 1510, en route to Bradford, and was being conducted in accordance with 14 CFR Part 135. The flight was despatched under the captain's authority.

The first officer (FO) was on the controls, and had completed the VOR-DME approach, and landing on Runway 14 (6,499 feet long and 150 feet wide). A witness observed the airplane in a high flare above the runway threshold, watched it drop vertically, landing hard on the main landing gear, bounce and bank to the left. The left wing struck the runway, the airplane veered to the left, and departed the runway.

According to the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), upon initial contact with the Bradford Flight Service Station (FSS), at 1541:49, the Specialist advised the crew of N159YN, "...the Bradford VOR is still notamed (Notice to Airman) out of service...." At 1544:24, the captain said to the Cleveland Center Controller, "we'd like to do the arc runway actually VOR-DME one four [approach]." The controller asked, " say you want to do the VOR-DME one four," and the captain answered "yes sir VOR-DME...arc up there also." The controller had the flight descend to four thousand feet, join the arc, and report when established.

A Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) Study was conducted at the NTSB, Office of Research and Engineering, Washington, DC. According to the study, while on the approach, at an altitude approximately 147 feet above the airport elevation the flights speed was 106.45 knots, and increased to 111.25 knots at an altitude of approximately 70 feet above the airport elevation, and then decreased to 98.64 knots, until just prior to touchdown. The study further showed that the airplane rolled approximately 20 degrees to the right. During the roll "it appears that full power was applied to the engines." The right engine reached full power about "2 seconds" before the left engine. The study further states; "...this occurrence is immediately followed by a 38 degree roll to the left and then a three-plus "g" spike in the vertical acceleration when the wings become level again." According to the captain's statement, he took control of the airplane after it yawed from right to left.

According to the FAA Inspector's statement the flight; "initially touched down at 584 feet from the end of Runway 14, the left wing tip touched the pavement three separate times before the aircraft departed the runway at a 40 degree angle, traveling through rough terrain and coming to rest approximately 1148 feet from the point where it exited the runway."

The captain's date of hire was March 20, 1994, and he was upgraded to captain November 6, 1995. The FO's date of hire was January 9, 1996, and this was her first line trip with the airline.

Meteorological information for Bradford is contained in this report under Weather Information.

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