There were no injuries when a Lancair IV-P Jetprop overran the runway at Aero Country Airport in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday and collided with a car on a road adjacent to the airport. Jack Schneider, who was at the airport picking up an aircraft to trailer home, got his cellphone recording just in time to capture the crash sequence.

According to WFAA News, the pilot told authorities the prop wouldn’t reverse. According to the Aviation Safety Network, the pilot reported a pressurization problem while climbing through 25,000 feet and descended rapidly to make an emergency landing. It went around on the first landing attempt and then overran the runway. The plane is registered to a company in Midland, Texas.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. It’s actually 3,002 ft of paved runway. The other 1,350 is turf…not suitable for a Lancair.!
    With a spec. rollout distance of 1,500-1,900 ft, the approach speed and height over the threshold is critical .

    • My mistake, I was thinking the McKinney airport.
      Aero Country looks to have 4352′ of runway over there.
      Still plenty of space to land a single prop plane; even a P-51.

  2. Glad to see no one was seriously injured. If the initial reports are correct this was an emergency landing after an aircraft systems failure and a prop stuck at a positive blade angle developing forward thrust.

    I wonder if the home built regs developed in an era of 75 kt 65 hp Flybaby’s are adequate for pressurized, 300 kt, 750 hp turbine aircraft operated in the flight levels ?

  3. Some pilots don’t realize just how slick those high powered fast turboprops are until a prop malfunction disables any ability to go max rpm, beta or reverse. At that point you lose the best speed brake and in some cases the only way to slow down quick, whether airborne or on landing rollout. Even a C208 will glide better than a C172 with power off and prop feathered. Glad to hear no one was hurt.

  4. It’s hard to judge without knowing how urgent that landing was. Pressurization troubles alone would probably not mandate a landing at the closest field but as long as it’s not clear if the prop troubles were known before landing, it’s hard to judge. Airline performance regulations prohibit taking credit for reverse when calculating landing performance, doing the same in part 91 ops would provide a safety margin at the cost of sacrificing the ability to use some shorter runways. The grass part of the runway would at least allow using all of the hard surface (touching down on the number rather than crossing the threshold at 50ft).

  5. ok Pressurization emergency at 25,000 ft, (descend to 10,000 or less), that problem solved. Emergency landing at a short unfamiliar field (3000 ft usable), Why? oh, BTW any pilot who owns a 750 hp turboprop is not looking for the landing characteristics of a Cub.

  6. Curious that he didn’t land at McKinney. It’s just 8 nm due East of T31, 7,000 ft runway. From 25,000 feet, I’d think it would have been within his glide distance. Maybe not. 20-20 hindsight but sure would have worked out better for both parties.

  7. When I completed my Commercial Glider check ride at Aero Country in Nov 1986, the airport was in the country, now it appears to be deep in development.

    • That’s the common curse of all airports. They’re typically built out in the country, near, but not too close to the city. Over time the city grows out and envelopes the airport. Thirty plus years ago, when I first went to my current airport, it was a 30 minute drive on two-lane farm roads from the city of Houston. Today there is a suburb of 90,000 people nearby and developers are building apartments and condos literally across the street.

      • Which is only one reason Paul would tell you the stats are not definitive, and especially not for experimental homebuilts. I got into these stats back in the aughts because you couldn’t hardly get in or out of a hangar talk without discussions over the “umbrella stands” and other “plastic” planes. My job included selling the safest ones made. (Things may have changed since then, so cut me some slack).
        There are good uses for the stats which can be informative. And, there are a lot of misleading arguments that come with them.
        Plenty of Lancair kits are highly modified from the original design in ways the builder would likely admit make them less safe. Build quality is up to the consumer. Many of the are built and then registered as something other than a lancair. The builder made it, and he gets to call it what he wants. Suffice to say, it’s rare someone buys a Lancair because they prioritize safety over speed. If they did, they’d buy something easier to fly and with better low speed performance. Truthfully, if I owned one, I’d be learning to do low passes.
        At any rate, google all you want, there’s no definitively worst in my opinion. The stats really cannot tell you that about homebuilts in my opinion. OTOH, this ain’t no Diamond Star or flying Volvo. Finally, I think we all know the nut behind the stick is the most important part.

        • Good insight.
          An instructor in the hangar behind mine has an older piston Lancair and told me some of the harsh realities about its flying (and unexpected not flying) characteristics.
          Ironically, he was doing a flight review for a guy who had a beautiful SOCATA TBM this past spring and asked the pilot to do a go-around on final approach. The plane got too slow before the engine spooled up and fell on the ground on the right side of the runway, slid through some small trees and nosed over in a creek. Fortunately, the both only had minor injuries and jumped out as the fire was starting. The plane burned to a crisp.
          I never asked him for a ride in his Lancair.

    • That’s what I always thought, but watching “The News at 10 PM” you would think that jet fuel is the most highly flammable of any fuel on the planet.

    • I remember watching a documentary about 30+ years ago about efforts to make jet fuel less flammable to improve survivability in crashes. Researchers filled the tanks of an old airliner with the experimental fuel and flew it into the ground via remote control. It made a horrendous fire ball!
      Back to the drawing board.

  8. Couple notes. The DFW area had northeast winds all weekend and every airport was in a north flow. KTKI, the bigger airport nearby, was notam’ed closed on Saturday.

  9. My wife & I were at T31 Saturday and witnessed this accident. The wind was from the northeast and VERY light. It was almost directly crosswind. Had he chosen runway 35 he would have had a very slight wind advantage, but he would also have had a 1350′ grass overrun at the north end.

    Mel, DAR