Learjet Loses Part Of Tail, Lands Safely
A Learjet 36 was flying off the coast of San Diego on Friday, Dec.1, when it sustained "an in-flight loss of the right elevator," the NTSB says. In its preliminary report, the Safety Board said the flight had departed from the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego at about 9:30 a.m. On board were an ATP-rated pilot, a commercial-rated second pilot and one passenger. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. "The operator reported that the airplane joined up with another airplane, and was doing a cross-under maneuver," says the report. "The pilot lost sight of the other airplane due to sun glare, and turned away. When the pilot reacquired his visual acuity, he discovered that the airplane was in a 70-degree angle-of-bank to the right and 50 degrees nose low. He reduced power, and leveled the wings." The airplane returned to base and landed safely. A post-flight examination then revealed that the right elevator was gone, and the left elevator was permanently deformed.