On April 8, 2011, at 1730 central daylight time, a Rockwell International 500-S, N51RF, sustained substantial damage during the landing roll when the right main landing gear collapsed after the airplane veered off the left side of runway 10R (5,000 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) at the Flying Cloud Airport (FCM), Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The commercial pilot and the airline transport co-pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane departed FCM at 1500 on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight, and had filed a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that he flew a stabilized visual approach with the airplane properly configured for landing. The airplane touched down on the centerline but it drifted to the right, and then "immediately went hard left." The pilot and co-pilot attempted to control the airplane and maintain centerline, but the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. The airplane skidded to a complete stop. The right main landing gear collapsed and the right wingtip hit the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and wing.
The postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed no pre-impact anomalies. The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure.
At 1653, the surface weather observation at FCM was: wind 170 degrees at 24 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast 5,500 feet, temperature 16 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 6 degrees C, altimeter 29.90 inches of mercury.
The airplane was registered to and operated by the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a public aircraft. Because they are operated as public aircraft, they are not subject to many of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Exceptions being use of airspace, air traffic control, and aircraft registration regulations. However, it is NOAA policy that aircraft shall be operated and maintained in accordance with all pertinent regulations issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), unless a deviation is approved by the Commanding Officer, AOC.