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Learjet destroyed during engine runs?

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
I was going through Ft. Worth the other day and there was mention of a Learjet destroyed during a maintenance event at Meacham field. Anyone have any details?
Mx techs were doing an engine run on an LR-45 down in the "hole" (southeast part of the airport) and claim they couldn't shut them down. I went down there and the skid marks probably were ~50-75 yards long. They went over a curb that collapsed the nose gear and hit a hanger with the right wing. Don't know much about Lears but can't imagine not just cutting off the fuel to shut down the engines.
Sounds kinda fishy, that or the techs didn't know what they were doing. If you lose power lever control over the engine (DEEC) you can always push the FIRE button which closes the fuel SOV. I've heard of power lever jams and DEEC malfunctions but never an inability to shut down the engine. Sounds like whatever happened they panicked and forgot about the buttons.
I received this from an associate of mine in the maintenance field the day it happend. I am sure more details will come out in due time, but this is what he passed on to me:

Did you see the 40XR that (name omitted) put into the bank yesterday? According to (name omitted), whom I know, he reported both throttles stuck..... NOW.... that sounds strange. I have ran and taxied the L45, with the TFE731-20's. The T/S were NOT deployed, and the nose gear strut was torn free.... ooopssss
Whether or not it was a computer problem, it points to how computers present a new problem. When power levers simply pulled and pushed on a valve, a mechanic could inspect the system and determine if a problem was developing before something like this happened. With a computer, it is very difficult to determine if a failure is forthcoming.

That is not to say that a catastrophic failure couldn't happen with a mechanical system or that problems can't be found before a computer fails, but the job is more difficult.

Having flown both the 35 and the 45, I prefer the 35's systems over the 45's. But, I like old school CB's and large metal switches over cute plastic buttons.
The Learjet 45 engines work like FADEC with the engine computers on, with them off they have traditional hydro-mechanical control just like the Lear 35 and other TFE731's.
It sounds like someone really screwed up. This is not the first time this has happen, heck Airbus wrecked a new A340 testing the engines.
The thrust lever input to the DEEC's are received by a RVDT in the TL quadrant. Regardless, if the RVDT fails, the FWSOV would fix the problem. They could also bypass the DEEC's but putting it into MAN therefore metering fuel hydro-mechanically in the FCU.

Sorry to hear a good airplane got banged up.
Type-rated pilots should be the only people running up engines or taxiing planes around.

I agree 100 percent!!! Too many things can go wrong and when someone who doesn't know how to operate the aircraft is put in a situation when things go wrong, well, look at this situation.
Type-rated pilots should be the only people running up engines or taxiing planes around.

There is nothing wrong with mechanics conducting engine runs and taxiing airplanes.

You are assuming a pilot would have never let something like this happen, that is a poor assumption. A mistake was made. We don't know what mistake or how; however, let us hope a lesson was learned by all the people involved.

If we restrict the operation of aircraft to the infallible no one will be allowed inside the airport fence.

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