On February 27, 1997, about 1015 eastern standard time, a Lear 35, N440HM, Grasshopper 440, registered to Apple Jet Inc., operated by Colvin Aviation Inc., as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, went off the end of the runway on landing rollout at the Greenville Downtown Airport, Greenville, South Carolina. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The airline transport pilot-in-command (PIC) sustained minor injures, and the airline transport rated second-in-command (SIC/Chief Pilot) was not injured. The flight originated from Atlanta, Georgia, about 35 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The SIC stated the PIC was cleared for an ILS approach to runway 36. The PIC was cleared to descend from 7,000 feet to 2,500 feet and had to use the spoilers to descend. The spoilers were retracted just before reaching the outer marker, and the airspeed was about 180. The flaps were extended to 20-degrees and the landing gear was lowered. Full flaps were extended and the airplane was off the centerline to the right over the fixed distance markers on final approach. The PIC took the required corrective action before touchdown. The VREF speed was 130+10 knots. The airplane floated and touched down long. The PIC moved the throttles to the idle position, deployed the spoilers and the reversers. He was looking inside the airplane at the reverser percentage, looked up and saw the 1,000-foot fixed distance markers at the end of the runway approaching. He informed the PIC 1,000 feet. The PIC made no comment, applied brakes and more reverse. The airplane skidded, and went off the end of the runway downhill. The PIC inadvertently moved the throttles forward, the airplane crossed over a road and collided with a ditch. He moved the throttles to the idle position and pulled the fire handles. The PIC turned off the inverters and the battery. Both crewmembers exited the airplane unassisted. The PIC confirmed the SIC comments in a subsequent interview with the NTSB and FAA.
The PIC stated to the FAA that he did not achieve a stabilized approach. He saw the runway about 200 feet above decision height. He thought his landing the day before was not smooth and he was trying to make a better landing. He felt the airplane did not want to slow down even though he deployed the spoilers and thrust reversers, and they went off the end of the runway.
Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane went off the end of the runway, skidded through 200 feet of sod, vaulted off a 25 foot elevated area, skidded across a road, and collided with a ditch. The wreckage was released to Mr. Dennis Wenzlick, Chief Pilot, Colvin Aviation Inc., on February 27, 1997. The cockpit voice recorder was released to Mr. Edward E. Fuentes, Colvin Aviation Inc., on March 25, 1997.