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On March 9, 2001, about 1301 eastern standard time, a Hawker Siddeley HS-125-3A, N48DD, was substantially damaged when it overran the runway while landing at the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport (BDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut. The two certificated airline transport pilots were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the positioning flight that originated from the Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, about 1230. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), the airplane was positioned to BDL for the second-in-command (SIC) to receive a PIC checkride from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); however, the checkride was canceled due to weather conditions. The PIC additionally stated that part of the oral portion of checkride, which was conducted, included preflight planning of airplane performance data and weather evaluation for the flight to BDR.
According to the SIC, the airplane was repositioned to BDR for her to complete a checkride with the FAA; however, due to the airplane's airworthiness paperwork not being in order, a FAA inspector canceled the checkride. The flightcrew then contacted a FSS to check the weather and file a flight plan for the flight to BDR. The SIC additionally stated that the flightcrew did not complete any airplane performance or weather planning prior to their departure from BDL.
According to the FAA airworthiness inspector who examined the airplane's documents for the SIC's checkride, he could not make a determination of the airplane's airworthiness due to the failure of the flightcrew's ability to produce documents confirming the airworthiness. The inspector then informed the FAA operations inspector that he could not make a determination of the airplane's airworthiness, and not to fly in the airplane.
According to the FAA operations inspector who was to conduct the checkride, he did not conduct any airplane performance or weather planning with the flightcrew.
The SIC additionally stated that she contacted a Flight Service Station (FSS), about 1045, to check the weather and file a flight plan for the checkride, and the return flight to BDR. At 1122, the SIC made a second call to a FSS, requesting the weather conditions at Westfield and Worchester, Massachusetts, "to see just how much it changed after the hour." At 1226, the SIC made a third call to a FSS. She requested the weather at BDL and BDR. The briefer advised the weather at BDL, then advised that the hourly BDR weather was, "three hundred overcast, one-half mile, snow and fog, [winds] one thirty at seven, [temperature and dew point] plus one, zero. OK? Anything else?" The SIC replied, "that's what I needed." Review of recorded conversations between the SIC and the FSS briefer revealed that the SIC did not request, nor receive, any NOTAMS during any of the calls.
The airplane then departed BDL with the SIC at the left seat position flying the airplane, for the positioning flight to BDR.
According to the flightcrew, the flight arrived in the BDR area, and an ILS approach to runway 6 was executed to the airport. During the approach, while completing the landing checklist, the PIC visually observed that the hydraulic pressure gauge, "smiley face," was normal, and he performed a "brake test." The BDR tower controller advised the flightcrew that a Navajo had just landed and reported a 250-foot ceiling, 3/4 miles of visibility, and that the runway braking action was "good." On final approach, the airplane broke out of the overcast clouds about 400 feet above the ground. The runway appeared dry, with only blowing snow across it, and the approach was continued at an airspeed of about 126 knots. As the airplane touched down on the runway, at an airspeed of about 116 knots, the SIC stated to the PIC that she did not have any braking effectiveness, and selected the "dump flaps" to slow the airplane. The airplane continued down the runway and did not seem to be slowing to a safe speed. The flightcrew observed the 1,000-foot remaining marker approaching and the SIC selected the emergency brakes. After she felt a lack of deceleration, the SIC selected the parking brake. The airplane continued off the end of the runway, impacted a non-frangible fence, and came to rest with about 4 feet of the airplane protruding onto a public access road.
After the accident, the air traffic controller who had issued the landing clearance to the airplane stated that he observed the airplane touch down on runway 6, abeam "taxiway Bravo, with 3,200 feet remaining." On landing rollout, slush was observed, "spraying" from the airplane, which extended rearward, about 5 feet from the airplane. The controller did not observe the airplane impact the fence due to the obscured visibility from snow. The controller added that the airplane "landed at a high rate of speed."
According to a witness who was driving on a road about 1/4 mile prior to runway 6, he observed a jet airplane on approach to the airport. The witness, who was also a private pilot, estimated that the airplane crossed over the threshold of the runway at an altitude of about 100 feet and about 125 feet to the right of the runway centerline. As the witness continued to observe the airplane, it banked to the left about 10-15 degrees and became aligned with the centerline of the runway. The witness thought he would see the airplane execute a missed approach, but it continued to fly down the runway, about a "gear length" above the runway. The witness did not observe the airplane touchdown on the runway, as it traveled out of view due to the snow obscuring the visibility, which he estimated as 3/4 mile. The witness estimated the speed of the airplane, as he observed it landing, was "hot", but he could not estimate a numerical value.
Excerpts of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcript revealed the following:
At the beginning of the transcribed recording, BDR ATIS weather information "Kilo" was recorded on the PIC's channel.
At 12:49:12, the ATIS recording stated, "Bridgeport tower information Kilo, time one six five four, wind one four zero at seven, visibility one half mile with snow, fog, ceiling three hundred overcast, temperature one, dew point zero, altimeter two nine eight zero. Expect the ILS approach landing runway six, departing runway eleven. NOTAMS. PAPI runway six out of service. Thin wet snow all surfaces. Braking action advisories in effect. Aircraft taxiing for departure are require to read back runway assignments. Sikorsky heliport class Delta airspace north of Bridgeport is active."
The PIC then briefed the SIC with the information that he had received. During the brief, the PIC did not mention any of the current NOTAMS transmitted on the ATIS.
At 13:00:27.7, the PIC stated, "ref plus five."
At 13:00:30.4, the PIC stated, "little gusty."
At 13:00:34.9, the cockpit area mike recorded sounds of clicks and knocks.
At 13:00:35.1, the PIC stated, "ah uh we need to get on it, two thousand feet to go."
Throughout the CVR transcript, there was no discussion between the flightcrew of the current NOTAM's at BDR, or landing performance data.
The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, approximately 41 degrees, 09 minutes north latitude, and 70 degrees, 07 minutes west longitude.
The PIC held an airline transport certificate with a rating for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land. In addition, the PIC was type rated in the Boeing 727, Hawker Siddeley HS-125, Israel Industries IA-JET, and North American Rockwell N-265. The PIC reported his total flying experience in airplanes was 7,000 hours. He also reported that he had accumulated about 600 hours in the Hawker Siddeley HS-125 series airplane, of which about 42 hours were in the last 90 days.
The captain's most recent FAA first class medical certificate was issued on November 24, 2001.
The PIC attended and successfully completed HS-125 recurrent training at Simuflite, on January 24, 2001.
The SIC held an airline transport certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine and multi-engine land. The SIC also held a commercial certificate with privileges for airplane single-engine sea. In addition, the SIC was type rated in the Dassault DA-10, Dassault DA-20, Dassault DA-50, Gulfstream G-1159, Hawker Siddeley HS-125, and Israel Industries IA-JET. The SIC reported her total flying experience in all aircraft was 8,750 hours. She also reported that she had accumulated a total of 400 hours in the Hawker Siddeley HS-125 series airplane, of which 1.3 were in the last 3 years.
The most recent training attended by the SIC, for the HS-125, was in 1997.
The SIC's most recent FAA first class medical certificate was issued on March 2, 2001.
Review of the airplane's maintenance records by a FAA inspector did not reveal any recorded notations referencing the braking system.
The airplane was not equipped with thrust reversers.
The weather recorded at BDR, at 1354 was, winds from 080 degrees at 5 knots, 3/4 mile visibility, light snow and mist, overcast skies at 300 feet, and a temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aviation Terminal Forecasts (TAF)
The TAF for BDR, issued March 9, about 1120, and valid from March 9 about 1100 to March 10 about 0700, was as follows: Wind from 140 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 2 statute miles, light snow, overcast skies at 900 feet. Between 1100 and 1200, visibility temporarily 4 statute miles, light snow, rain and mist, overcast skies at 1,200 feet. From 1300 to 1900, wind from 070 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 4 statue miles, light rain, and overcast skies at 1,200 feet. Between 1300 and 1500, visibility temporarily 2 statute miles, light snow, rain and mist, overcast skies at 600 feet.
The TAF for BDR, issued March 9, about 1132, and valid from March 9 about 1200 to March 10 about 0700, was as follows: Wind from 140 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 1-1/2 statute miles, light snow and mist, overcast skies at 800 feet. Between 1100 and 1200, visibility temporarily 1/2 statute mile, snow and fog, overcast skies at 600 feet. From 1300 to 1900, wind from 070 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 4 statue miles, light rain, and overcast skies at 1,200 feet. Between 1300 and 1500, visibility temporarily 2 statute miles, light snow, rain and mist, overcast skies at 600 feet.
Runway 6 at BDR was a 4,677-foot long, 150-foot wide, hard surfaced asphalt runway. The usable length of the runway when landing at the glideslope intercept point was 3,686 feet. No safety area existed at the end of runway 6. Runway 24 had a displaced threshold located 320 feet from the beginning of the runway.
The distance from taxiway Bravo, to the end of runway 6, was about 3,214 feet.
According to BDR records, a NOTAM was issued on March 9, 2001, that referenced the condition of the runway surfaces. The NOTAM was issued at 1143 and indicated, "Thin wet snow all surfaces."
An airport operations officer stated that he was instructed to conduct a braking action test on runway 6 after that accident. The test was conducted using a vehicle, at a speed of 40 mph. The results were braking action "good" for the first, second, and third portions of the runway. The officer also observed 1/8 - 1/4 inch of slush patches on the runway surface.
A pilot, who was flying a Piper PA-31 the day of the accident, stated that he had flown the ILS to runway 6 just prior to the accident airplane and was asked by an ATC controller to "keep his speed up" for a trailing airplane. The pilot recalled that the weather conditions were, visibility of about 1/2-3/4 mile, with a "ragged" ceiling of 250-300 feet. After landing, the pilot was queried by the ATC tower for a braking action report, which the pilot replied, "good." The pilot additionally stated that the conditions on the runway were "slushy" with snow accumulations towards the middle of the runway. After the pilot parked his airplane, he observed that it was snowing very heavy at times, with wet heavy snowflakes.
An 8-foot 9-inch-high, nonfrangible metal blast fence was located about 342 feet prior to the runway 24 displaced threshold. The fence was installed to protect Connecticut State Highway 113, a public road that ran parallel to the fence, from jet/propeller blast of aircraft operating at the airport. The highway was located about 10 feet beyond the blast fence. The blast fence was constructed with galvanized structural steel upright sections and double reverse galvanized corrugated sheet metal.
Cockpit Voice Recorder
The airplane was equipped with a B&D Instruments and Avionics cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The CVR was transported to the Safety Board, Office of Research and Engineering, on March 13, 2001. The CVR group convened on April 25, 2001. A transcript was prepared for the last 11 minutes and 55 seconds of the 31-minute 44-second recording.
The airplane was examined at the accident site on March 9, 2001.
The nose of the airplane was crushed rearward and to the right. Buckling was observed to the firewall. The nose landing gear was canted to the left and partially collapsed.
Damage to the left wing consisted of a galvanized structural steel upright section embedded about 32 inches into the wing, about 36 inches from the wing root. Another galvanized structural steel upright section was imbedded about 10 inches into the wing about 96 inches from the wing root.
The damage to the right wing consisted of a galvanized structural steel upright section embedded about 11 inches into the wing, at the wing root. Another galvanized structural steel upright section was imbedded about 8 inches into the wing about 72 inches from the wing root.
The flaps were observed in the "dump" position, and the wing spoilers were extended at an angle of 45 degrees.
When the cockpit area was examined, the parking brake was observed in the applied position, the flap selector was in the "dump" position, and the thrust levers were in the idle position.
The hydraulic brake pressure gauge in the cockpit was observed as 2,000 PSI on the left and right side. The supply was at a full scale left reading of "4."
The "bug" speed selected for the PIC's and SIC's airspeed indicators was observed as 116 knots.
Power was not applied to airplane due to the extent of damage to the wing and fuel tanks.
On March 10, 2001, the runway was examined. Two sets of skid marks were observed beginning at the displaced threshold, and continued to the non-frangible fence.
Post accident drug and alcohol tests were not administered to the pilots after the accident.
TEST AND RESEARCH
The airplane was further examined in a hangar at BDR on March 12, 2001 by a Safety Board investigator, an FAA inspector, and a certified HS-125 mechanic. The emergency brake lever located in the cockpit was observed in the release position. The accumulated hydraulic pressure was full scale high. When the emergency brake was selected, a "squishing sound" was heard and the brake pads of the left and right main landing gear were observed to move. The emergency brake was then released. The brake pedals on the left and right side of the cockpit were applied individually. Each time pressure was applied to a brake pedal, a "squishing sound" was heard and the brake pad of the respective main landing gear were observed to move.
The parking brake of the airplane was then applied to perform a "pad wear check" on the assembled main landing gear wheel brakes. Measurements were taken of the pad wear gauge. The measurement of the right outboard brake pad was 1.75 inches, and the right inboard was 1.5 inches. The measurement of the left outboard brake pad was 1.63 inches, and the right inboard was 1.63 inches.
Review of the Raytheon Aircraft HS-125 Aircraft Maintenance Manual revealed that, a 1/4 worn brake pad was 1.544 inches, a 1/2 worn brake pad was 1.613, and a fully worn brake pad was 1.751 inches.
According to a representative of Raytheon Aircraft, the wear dimensions described in the maintenance manual were provided to give a mechanic guidance on brake pad wear trends and replacement. The dimensions were not suggestive of actual brake pad condition.
All four main landing gear tires were observed as having 4-inch "flat spots" on the treads. The "flat spots" were worn to a depth of about 1/8 inch.
The tire pressure for the outer right main landing gear tire was 111 PSI, and the inner right main landing gear tire was 112 PSI. The tire pressure for the outer left main landing gear tire was 111 PSI, and the inner left main landing gear tire was 108 PSI.
According to the Aeronautical Information Manual Pilot/Controller Glossary, a contaminated runway, "is considered contaminated whenever standing water, ice, snow, slush, frost in any form, heavy rubber or other substances are present."
According to FAA Accident Prevention Program Publication, On Landings Part II, FAA-P-8740-49, WATER ON THE RUNWAY AND DYNAMIC HYDROPLANING:
"Spring, summer, winter or fall, anytime is time for water on the runway. When the runway's wet you may be confronted with dynamic hydroplaning. Dynamic hydroplaning is a condition in which the airplane rides on a sheet of water rather than on the runway's surface. Because hydroplaning wheels are not touching the runway, braking and directional control are almost nil. You are literally 'surfing'."
"There are actually three types of hydroplaning, Dynamic - where the airplane rides on standing water; Viscous - where a film of moisture covers the painted or rubber coated portion of the runway; and Reverted, or melted rubber - where locked tires on a wet runway can cause heat so intense that the aircraft is actually riding on a mixture of steam and melted rubber. For now, we'll concentrate only on dynamic hydroplaning. To help minimize dynamic hydroplaning, some runways are grooved to help drain off water. But most runways are not. Tire pressure is a factor in dynamic hydroplaning. By this simple formula you can calculate the minimum speed, in knots, at which hydroplaning will begin. In plain language, the minimum hydroplaning speed is determined by multiplying the square root of the main gear tire pressure, in PSI, by nine."
"Landing at higher than recommended touchdown speeds will expose you to a greater potential for hydroplaning. And once hydroplaning starts, it can continue well below the minimum, initial hydroplaning speed. When the runway is wet, be prepared for hydroplaning and opt for a suitable runway most aligned with the wind. Landing into the wind gives you the best chance for directional control - but don't count on it. If you hydroplane, make no abrupt control movements. Your brakes will be completely useless - so don't use them. Use aerodynamic braking to your fullest advantage. In summary, think about runway braking problems well before you land."
When the airplane was examined after the accident, a takeoff and landing information card (TOLD card) was not observed in the cockpit area. The flightcrew was queried as to the location of the TOLD information. They replied that they could not recall what happened to the original information.
On the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the PIC stated that the estimated fuel onboard the airplane at the time of the accident was about 6,000 pounds.
In a follow-up interview, the PIC stated that he did not recall what the landing weight at the time of the accident was, nor the landing reference speed. When advised that the reference speed as indicated on the pilot's airspeed indictor correlated to a landing weight of 19,800 pounds, the PIC stated, "that sounds about right". The PIC additionally stated that he could not recall what the landing distance required was, but stated that it was well within the legal limits to land on runway 6.
In a subsequent interviews related to the landing weight and reference speed, the PIC stated that he recalled the basic operating weight of the airplane was about 12,600 pounds and the airplane landed at BDR with about 2,000 pounds of fuel remaining. The SIC stated that she had the airplane fueled at BDR with about 8,000 pounds of fuel. She estimated that the airplane arrived back in the BDR area with about 5,000-6,000 pounds of fuel remaining, making the landing weight about 18,000 pounds.
According to the Hawker Siddeley HS-125 AFM performance section, "Landing Reference Speed Vref" chart, the Vref speed at a weight of 15,000 pounds, was about 102 knots. The reference speed of 117 knots, as indicated on the pilot's airspeed indictor, correlated to a landing weight of 19,800 pounds.
The AFM performance section estimated the uncorrected landing distance [the distance from touchdown to a complete stop], on a dry runway, at a landing weight of 15,000 pounds, with a 5-knot headwind, was approximately 2,160 feet. The uncorrected landing distance [the distance from touchdown to a complete stop] at 19,800 pounds was approximately 2,610 feet.
The AFM performance section also had a chart for the "Effect of Slippery Runway on Landing Distance." The chart determined that the "equivalent scheduled landing distance available," for the contaminated 4,677-foot long runway, with a 5-knot headwind, was approximately 2,150 feet.
The airplane wreckage was released to a representative of the operator on March 18, 2001.