On October 9, 1998, at 1803 Eastern Daylight Time, a Piper PA-34-R200, N800JK, was destroyed while landing at Essex County Airport (CDW), Caldwell, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers were uninjured, while a third passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight plan was filed for the flight between Worcester Regional Airport (ORH), Worcester, Massachusetts, and Caldwell. The corporate flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that while on the localizer approach, the tower controller told her that there was new weather, and to expect a straight-in to Runway 22 instead of the circling approach she had anticipated. When the pilot crossed the final approach fix, she knew the airplane was high, so she added a second notch of flaps. When she saw the runway, the airplane was still high, so she reduced the power to idle and added the last notch of flaps. She landed long, but felt she had enough runway to stop. When she applied the brakes, the right brake had no pressure, while the left brake only had "a little." She grabbed the emergency hand brake and tried to pump up the toe brakes, but "did not get much, if any, response." The airplane continued off the end of the runway and into a brook.
The airport tower controller stated, and was confirmed by audio tapes, that the pilot had subsequently been cleared "for the option," and that the airplane landed long on the 4,500-foot Runway 22. Three other witnesses stated that the airplane landed just south of Taxiway "B," which was about 3,000 feet from the departure end of the runway.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector reported that both main landing gears had been ripped out of the wings, but that the brake lines were not ruptured. Hydraulic fluid on the cockpit floor, under the brake pedals, did not appear to be caused by the accident. Another FAA Inspector stated that he could not develop any brake pressure by pumping the pedals, and that both master cylinders were leaking. He also said that he finally obtained some brake pressure after pumping the emergency handle four times, and that there was air in the brake lines.
On July 10, 1998, about 50 hours prior to the accident, maintenance was performed on the airplane which included bleeding the brake system and replenishing the reservoir.
Weather observed immediately after the accident included winds from 050 degrees magnetic at 6 knots, visibility 3 statue miles in mist, and an overcast at 1,200 feet above ground level. The runway was wet, and the localizer approach utilized by the pilot was the only one available.