The owners of a Dassault Falcon 900 had has a pretty bad day after their jet suffered a runway excursion at Aspen Airport. Unfortunately for them, their bad luck did not end there after the nose gear of their aircraft was torn off during the recovery process.
On April 2, a Falcon 900 registered N999EH and owned by JDR Management LLC was performing a flight from Boca Raton (BCT) to Aspen (ASE). Unfortunately the aircraft slid off into the soft snow covered ground to the side after landing on runway 15. The aircraft landed with a 12 knot tailwind, with winds gusting up to 20 knots. Due to high terrain south of the field, Aspen Airport officials recommend landing on runway 15 even if there is a tailwind component.
The runway was shut down and ground personnel attempted to pull the business jet out of the dirt using straps hooked to the nose gear. While I am not familiar with recovery techniques in situations like this, many have suggested that the straps should have been connected to the main gear instead for better support. If the aircraft’s wheels were too deeply embedded in the dirt, the safest option might have been lifting the entire plane onto solid ground with a crane.
In the short video, you can hear everyone shouting “Ohhh!” as the nose gear is torn off, resulting in the front end of the aircraft hitting the ground. I imagine the crowd also heard the “kaching” cash register sound, knowing how expensive this recovery turned out to be.
[Featured Photo: Aviation Accidents/YouTube (Screenshot)]