SEA03LA010
SEA03LA010

On December 3, 2002, at 0612 Pacific standard time, a Gates Learjet 36A, N546PA, was destroyed after colliding with an elk, and subsequent runway overrun, at the Astoria Regional Airport, Astoria, Oregon. The airplane is registered to C F F Air, Incorporated, Wilmington, Delaware, and was being operated in support of a Canadian Armed Forces training exercise under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The two pilots and two support personnel aboard the aircraft were not injured. The accident occurred approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes before sunrise under visual meteorological conditions. Impact forces and post crash fire destroyed the airplane.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on December 3, the pilot-in-command (PIC) reported that during acceleration for takeoff (approximately V1 [takeoff decision speed]) the airplane collided with an elk (the left wing was the initial impact point). The PIC reported that after the collision, he applied wheel brakes and deployed the airplane's drag chute, however, the airplane continued off the departure end of the runway 08. The airplane came to rest in a marshy bog approximately 180 feet beyond the departure threshold.

The pilot (PIC) reported that he was aware of elk in the vicinity of the airport, but observed none prior to the departure roll on the morning of the accident. Additionally, he stated that prior to takeoff he taxied the aircraft northbound on runway 30 to the intersection of runway 30/08, shined the aircraft lights down the remainder of runway 08, and then back taxied on runway 08. No elk were sighted.

Currently, approximately 15,000 feet of the airport's perimeter is bordered with animal control fence. The airport recently received a FAA Aviation Improvement Program (AIP) Grant that will provide funding for an additional 9,000-feet of fence. Airport officials stated that the fencing project should be completed by summer of 2003. At the completion of the project, game control fencing will encompass the entire airport perimeter.

The U.S. Government Airport/Facilities Directory (A/FD) contains the following remarks for the Astoria Regional Airport: "Herds of elk on and in the vicinity of airport..."


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