FTW00LA078
FTW00LA078

On January 28, 2000, at 2130 central standard time, a Swearingen SA-227-AT twin-engine airplane, N245DH, was substantially damaged during a wheels up landing at the Fayetteville Airport, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The airline transport pilot, acting as the captain, and the commercial pilot, acting as the first officer, were not injured. The airplane was registered to Banc of America Leasing & Capital LLC of San Francisco, California, and operated by Ameriflight, Inc., of Burbank, California. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air taxi cargo flight. The flight originated from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was terminating at the time of the accident.

According to the 4,116-hour captain, the crew experienced a problem with the crew intercom system during departure, and the first officer (flying pilot) had to "repeat his requests three or four times" before the captain could hear him. The crew decided they would notify the maintenance personnel when they arrived at their destination.

The captain reported that air traffic control issued a clearance to descend to 3,000 feet "at pilot's discretion." The crew initiated their descent at a "later than normal distance" from the airport. The first officer needed to reduce the power below 25 percent torque in order to expedite the descent, which set off the gear warning horn. The sound "eventually became part of the background noise."

The captain added that at 2 miles from the final approach fix (FAF), he asked the tower to dim the runway lights. At that time, the runway and approach lights went out and the crew lost sight of the runway. While the captain was asking the tower to turn the lights back on, the first officer called "gear down, syncs off, speeds high, below the line check list." The captain did not hear the first officer's callout and did not lower the landing gear. The captain stated that he did not hear the first officer's callout "either because of the conversation [he] was having with the tower or because of the intercom difficulties."

As the approach continued, the first officer had a problem slowing the airplane to proper approach speed. The airplane touched down on the runway with the landing gear retracted, "slid" approximately 2,500 feet and exited the left side of the runway. According to the FAA inspector, who examined the airplane, two pressure bulkheads were structurally damaged.

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