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On March 22, 2009, at 1905 Pacific daylight time, a Beech 200, N257NA, collided with a tree while taxiing after landing at Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Henderson, Nevada. Southern Nevada Jet Charter was operating the airplane as an on-demand air taxi flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The certificated airline transport pilot and copilot, and two passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The flight departed Napa County Airport (APC), Napa, California, about 1700. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed.
The pilot reported landing the airplane on runway 35 left and taxiing to the operator's hangar located on the west side of the airport. As the airplane approached the ramp, he observed a tug positioned in front of the hangar. He elected to turn the airplane directly towards the tug instead of the usual deplaning area. He turned the airplane, aligning it with the tug, and shortly thereafter, the right wing impacted a tree located at the southeast corner of the hangar.
The pilot reported that he was familiar with the ramp area, and has had prior experience taxing in the area.
The copilot reported that as the airplane approached the hangar he observed the tug located about 10 feet laterally from the hangar door. He stated that it was his understanding that the pilot would park in the deplaning area, therefore, he looked down to complete his post flight checklist. He then felt the airplane jolt and realized they had struck a tree.
Both the pilot and copilot reported the light conditions to be approaching dusk, and that the hangar and tug lights were on.
A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 45-year-old pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land. He held a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He held a first-class medical certificate with no limitations or waivers, and reported a total flight time of 6,700 hours, 200 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model.
A review of FAA airman records revealed that the 62-year-old copilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land. He held a first-class medical certificate with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses, and reported a total flight time of 17,850 hours, 200 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model.
The closest aviation weather observation station was located at the accident airport. An aviation routine weather report (METAR) was issued at 1856, it stated clear skies with 10 miles visibility.
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the sun set at Henderson at 1854, with the end of civil twilight at 1919.
The entrance to the hangar ramp area was approximately 190 feet wide. The wingspan of the accident airplane was 54 feet 6 inches.