Narrative:A Learjet 35, N435JL, was substantially damaged during an aborted takeoff at the Schenectady-County Airport, NY (SCH). The certificated airline transport pilot, commercial pilot, and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan was filed for the air response medical flight to New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA).
The captain stated that prior to departure the flight controls were tested, with no abnormalities noted, and the takeoff trim was set to the "middle of the takeoff range," without referring to any available pitch trim charts. During the takeoff roll on runway 28, the pilot attempted to rotate the airplane twice, and then aborted the takeoff halfway down the 4,840 foot long runway, because the controls "didn't feel right." The airplane traveled off the departure end of the runway and through a fence, and came to rest near a road. The pilot reported no particular malfunction with the airplane. Examination of the airplane revealed that the horizontal stabilizer was positioned at -4.6 degrees, the maximum nose down limit within the takeoff range. The horizontal stabilizer trim and elevator controls were checked, and moved freely through their full ranges of travel. According to the AFM TAKEOFF TRIM C.G. FUNCTION chart, a horizontal stabilizer trim setting of -7.2 was appropriate with the calculated C.G. of 20% MAC.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's improper trim setting, which resulted in a runway overrun and impact with a fence."
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 Schenectady-County Airport, NY to New York-La Guardia Airport, NY as the crow flies is 229 km (143 miles).