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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-80-053
Details
Synopsis: ON MAY 6, 1980, A LEARJET MODEL 23 AIRCRAFT CRASHED WHILE ATTEMPTING A NIGHT LANDING ON RUNWAY 33 AT BYRD FIELD, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. THE SKIES WERE CLEAR, VISIBLITY WAS 10 MI, AND THE WIND WAS CALM. ALTHOUGH THE LEARJET WAS SLIGHTLY HIGH ON THE APPROACH, IT DESCENDED NORMALLY IN A LANDING ATTITUDE. BUT BEFORE TOUCHING DOWN, THE AIRCRAFT YAWED AND ROLLED, AND FIRST THE RIGHT WINGTIP FUEL TANK AND THEN THE LEFT TIPTANK STRUCK THE RUNWAY. THEREAFTER, THE NOSE OF THE AIRCRAFT PITCHED UP, THE ENGINE THRUST INCREASED, THE AIRCRAFT ROLLED TO THE RIGHT, AND IT CRASHED IN A NEARLY INVERTED ATTITUDE. A FIRE ERUPTED AFTER IMPACT, AND BOTH PILOTS, AND ONLY PERSONS ABOARD, WERE KILLED. THE AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN MANUFACTURED IN 1964. AVAILABLE OPTIONAL SLOW-FLIGHT MODIFICATIONS INSTALLED ON MANY LEARJETS HAD NOT BEEN INSTALLED ON THIS AIRCRAFT.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: CONVENE A MULTIPLE EXPERT OPINION TEAM TO EVALUATE THE FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS AND HANDLING QUALITIES OF SERIES 20 LEARJET AIRCRAFT, WITH AND WITHOUT SLOW FLIGHT MODIFICATION, AT BOTH LOW- AND HIGH-SPEED EXTREMES OF THE OPERATIONAL FLIGHT ENVELOPE UNDER THE MOST CRITICAL CONDITIONS OF WEIGHT AND BALANCE (AND OTHER VARIABLE FACTORS) AND TO ESTABLISH THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE CONTROL AND AIRSPEED MARGINS OF THE AIRCRAFT AT THESE EXTREMES. (URGENT)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Richmond, VA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80AA017
Accident Reports: Gates Learjet Model 23, N886JS
Report #: AAR-80-12
Accident Date: 5/6/1980
Issue Date: 6/27/1980
Date Closed: 11/13/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/13/1985
Response: We have reviewed airworthiness directive (ad) 84-17-02, amendment 39-4902, that became effective on october 5, 1984. We note that the ad is applicable to gates learjet model 24 airplanes and requires hardware changes to correct safety of flight conditions identified by the faa's special certification review. We thank you for the actions taken and classify this recommendation closed--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/12/1985
Response: "I HAVE ENCLOSED AD 84-17-02, AMENDMENT 39-4902, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 5, 1984. IT REQUIRES THE HARDWARE CHANGES TO CORRECT SAFETY OF FLIGHT CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED BY A SPECIAL CERTIFICATION REVIEW AND RELIEVES CERTAIN LIMITATIONS IMPOSED IN A PRIOR AD. SPECIFICALLY THIS AD REQUIRES THE INSTALLATION OF AN IMPROVED PITCH TRIM ACTUATOR, TRIM-IN-MOTION WARNING, PITCH AXIS MASTER INTERRUPT, AUTOPILOT G-LIMITER, AND SEVERAL OTHER ASSOCIATED ALTERATIONS FOUND NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE HAZARD CREATED BY CERTAIN FAILURES OF THESE COMPONENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE HIGH RESPONSE RATE OF THE AIRPLANE. THIS AD REQUIRES COMPLIANCE WITHIN 18 MONTHS--".

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/3/1983
Response: The safety board notes that the faa has already issued ad 81-16-08-r3, which allows resumption of flight operations above 45,000 feet for appropriately certificated model 24e/f and 25d/f airplanes following installation of kits, amk 81-12 engine stall warning system, amk 82-4 autopilot pitch nose down limits, and amk 82-5 autopilot roll rate limiter. With regard to the notice of proposed rulemaking (nprm) airworthiness directive: gates learjet models 24 series airplanes the safety board has previously commented in support of the mandatory modifications in the pitch axis and autopilot systems. However, we note that there is no anticipated comparable action on the learjet 23 and 28/29 airplanes. We would like to be informed as to why no mandatory action is planned on the pitch axis and autopilot systems of the learjet 23 and 28/29 airplanes.We will continue to classify a-80-53 as open-- acceptable action pending final rulemaking on the learjet 24 series, review of the ad action involving either softflite i or stick pusher/shaker system modifications for the learjet 23 and 24 straight wing airplanes, and receipt and review of your rationale for excluding the learjet 23, 28/29 from pitch axis modifications.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/22/1983
Response: FAA LETTER: FAA'S LETTER OF 7-22-83 REGARDING ONGOING ACTIONS PERTAINING TO: (1) LEARJET MODELS 24/F, AD 81-16-08-R3, (2) LEARJET MODELS 24 - PITCH AXIS AND AUTOPILOT MODIFICATIONS. (3) MODELS 23 AND 28/29 - PITCH AXIS MODIFICATIONS. (4) MODELS 23/24/25 "STRAIGHT WING" AND HOWARD RAISBECK MARK II MODIFIED AIRPLANES STALL SPEEDS AND STALL CHARACTERISTICS.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/17/1983
Response: We note that the faa has, as a result of a learjet special certification review, issued numerous airworthiness directives which require appropriate corrective action to specific models of the learjet. These ad actions include detailed Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses inspections, changes in preflight and inflight operational procedures and comprehensive airplane modifications. The learjet special certification review and the associated ad action are in complete accord with the intent of safety recommendation a-80-53. We would appreciate receiving an update on the status of the special certifi-cation review, the ad action by learjet model and the appropriate compliance dates. In the interim, safety recommendation a-80-53 will be classified as open--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/28/1982
Response: FAA LETTER: THE FAA HAS, AS A RESULT OF A LEARJECT SPECIAL CERTIFICATION REVIEW, ISSUED NUMEROUS AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIV WHICH REQUIRE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO SPECIFIC MODELS OF THE LEARJET. THESE ACTIONS INCLUDE DETAILED INSPECTIONS, CHANGE PREFLIGHT AND INFLIGHT OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES AND COMPREHENS AIRPLANE MODIFICATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/3/1982
Response:

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/8/1981
Response: In safety recommendation a-80-53 we asked the federal aviation administration (faa) to convene a multiple expert opinion team to evaluate the flight characteristics and handling qualities of series 20 learjet aircraft, with and without slow flight modification, at both low-and-high- speed extremes of the operational flight envelope under the most critical conditions of weight and balance (and other variable factors) and to establish the acceptability of the control and airspeed margins of the aircraft at these extremes. We note that this recommendation is encompassedin continuing faa investigations which have resulted, thus far, in the faa's issuance of airworthiness directive (ad) 79-12-05 and airmail letter (emergency ad) dated august 1, 1980. We await the results of the faa's findings to reevaluate the status of this recommendation which we are maintaining in an open-- acceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/25/1980
Response: FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION LTR: THIS RECOMMENDATION IS ENCOMPASSED IN CONTINUING FAA INVESTIGATIONS WHICH HAVE RESULTED, THUS FAR, IN AD 79-12-05 AND AIRMAL LETTER (EMERGENCY AD) DATED AUGUST 1, 1980.