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Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Friday 6 December 1996
Time:02:38
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ36 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 36A
Operator:Chrysler Aviation
Registration: N14TX
C/n / msn: 36-033
First flight:
Engines: 2 Garrett TFE731-2-2B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:0,5 km (0.3 mls) S of Stephenville Airport, NF (YJT) (   Canada)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:Grand Rapids-Kent County International Airport, MI (GRR/KGRR), United States of America
Destination airport:Stephenville Airport, NF (YJT/CYJT), Canada
Narrative:
A Learjet 35A, N14TX, was destroyed when it impacted terrain at the Stephenville Airport, Canada. Both crew members were killed. The accident occurred in the hours of darkness with wind 040 degrees at 17 knots, a visibility of 12 miles in light snow and drifting snow.
The crew conducted a tailwind ILS approach to runway 28 because runway 10 lacked an ILS. The airplane tracked the ILS until over the threshold. When the aircraft approached the runway threshold, its landing lights would have illuminated the drifting snow and the snow covering much of the runway surface, probably making it difficult to distinguish the runway's white centre line and, perhaps, the runway edge lights. The illuminated snow drifting across the runway at a 45° angle from behind the aircraft would give a pilot the illusion of lateral aircraft motion. The aircraft drifted to the left and touched down off the left side of the runway.
Heading left off the runway, in the dark and with a lack of ground lights in that direction, the pilot had a limited horizon comprised of the snow surface illuminated by the aircraft's landing lights, which would have made recognition of the aircraft's attitude extremely difficult. A go around was initiated with being retracted. The aircraft then attained various bank angles of wings level, 10° left, 45° left, and 10° left with the left hand wingtip contacting the ground, until the ailerons jammed. The aircraft rolled to the right after striking the ground, then went through a small stand of alders at 4,400 feet. The aircraft continued to roll to the right and crashed in an inverted, wings-level attitude 5,080 feet from the runway threshold near the centre of the airport, just east of the intersection of runways 28 and 20.

Probable Cause:

CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: "Shortly after crossing the runway threshold, the aircraft began moving to the left of the runway. The motion probably was undetected by the pilot until the aircraft touched down off the left side of the runway surface. The pilot did not maintain the proper aircraft attitude during an attempted missed approach, and the aircraft struck the terrain."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 285 days (10 months)
Accident number: TSB Report A96A0207
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» TSB Report Number A96A0207


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Grand Rapids-Kent County International Airport, MI to Stephenville Airport, NF as the crow flies is 2159 km (1349 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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