AAY4105: McNeese charter plane clipped lights upon takeoff


Concerning this diversion, the following was reported in the Lake Charles media:
"LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - 7 News has confirmed the McNeese football team’s charter plane clipped the Lake Charles Airport runway light on takeoff, causing one of the plane’s tires to blowout.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson says the incident happened when the plane took out several lights near the end of the runway.

Officials with McNeese State University, said the plane carrying members of the football team en-route to Columbia, Missouri for this weekend’s game was diverted to Tunica, Mississippi.

Reportedly, the charter MD-80 plane was very close to Columbia, but for safety reasons, the plane was diverted to Tunica to land because of the landing gear.

None of the passengers on the plane were injured and everyone was transferred to another plane in Tunica to complete their journey to Columbia.

The FAA says an investigation into why the lights were clipped in underway, and they hope to complete it in 2 weeks."

It would appear that a very serious alternate outcome was narrowly avoided! (It gives me a weird feeling to know that I saw this A/C Friday morning at 1100 as it was passing over KLFT, descending toward KLCH for this pickup…and that just 2 short hours later it was nearly a pile of twisted metal!)


Permalink: flightaware.com/live/flight/AAY4 … /KLCH/KUTA


Reportedly, the charter MD-80 plane was very close to Columbia, but for safety reasons, the plane was diverted to Tunica to land because of the landing gear

Safety reasons? Doubtful. More like that was were they had a spare a/c.


Reportedly, the charter MD-80 plane was very close to Columbia, but for safety reasons, the plane was diverted to Tunica to land because of the landing gear

Safety reasons? Doubtful. More like that was were they had a spare a/c.


I agree! They took off on 15 and had 6500 feet available so not sure what went wrong.

mcneesesports.com/ViewArticl … =204992072

*The blow out forced the Allegiant Air jet to sit down in Tunica, Captain Robert Norman landing the aircraft on three wheels.

The tire had blown when the jet lifted off from the Lake Charles Regional Airport, catching a light at the end of the runway.

A member of the airplane’s crew said that Norman had decided to go to Tunica to get the tire replaced since there was a mechanic there who could handle the job.

However, once leveling off in the air, the captain noted that there might be more damage than just the blow out. *


Guess Captain Norman thought he was over at Chennault and forgot to rotate. :unamused:


Yea. He would have had almost another mile of runway. :laughing:


faa.gov/data_research/accide … 0913_N.txt

flightglobal.com/articles/20 … -call.html

A couple more links,

I’m sure Allegiant is glad this incident has mostly stayed under the radar, but this was a close call.

*According to airport officials who witnessed the event, Allegiant Flight 4105 (N887GA) broke down one runway end light, markers that extend 20-25cm (8-10in) above the ground, and knocked the lens out of another light before leaving what appears to be a rut in the grass approximately 7.6m (25ft) long. The runway is 1,981m (6,500ft )long.

“When it got toward the end of the runway, we heard a loud pop and saw a debris field of grass and dirt about 60m in the air,” says one witness. “Sight of the aircraft was lost in the dust cloud; shortly after the aircraft reappeared and continued on its departure.”*


One of the football players said it felt like hitting a small pothole in a road.
I bet they will fly out of Chennault from now on.

Flight departed around 1pm, temperature was in the low 90s, plane full of football players, 6500’ runway…had to be pushing the density altitude envelope.


That would be my guess. 6500 feet might sound like a lot, but load up any airliner on a hot day and it gets short real fast.


Juliet Charlie!!!
Did y’all see the pics in the “Flightglobal” story? Being unfamiliar with the lights at KLCH, when I first read they clipped the lights…I had in mind that they clipped some TOWERED lights…AFTER LIFTOFF, like the Rabbits at KLFT, not lights ON THE GROUND! They were barely airborne, if at all! And did you catch the obs of “what appears to be a rut…” man look at that ground!..it was drier than a desert bone! The only thing that could have left clean swaths and raised a dust cloud that big, that quick (to obscure an MD-80?) was those JT8-D’s with Capt. Pucker standin on the quadrant!! (They probably STILL haven’t located his seat cushion (*)
Major Foxtrot Uniform

BTW: Any idea where Flightglobal got those pics??? Man, I would LOVE to see the originals. Anybody with copies or links to them or more info please advise!

"NO, Son! When I said ‘Rotate’, I did NOT mean spin around in your SEAT!"


Link doesn’t work. At least not for me.


Try this John. tinyurl.com/2ug5evc


Funny thing. After you posted that link, I tried the original and it worked too.


Let me start by a no BS war story. Our KC135A crew was at a strange field, in a hurry, got distracted… and they missed a very important checklist item before takeoff… STAB TRIM SET for TAKEOFF…
When we got to the end of the runway… the CP called out ROTATE, THE Pilot in the left seat pulled the YOKE back… and nothing happened!!
He instictively looked down and saw the stab trim WAY OFF… He started to roll the trim backwards with his left thumb on the yoke to make the airplane’s nose rise. We got off just before the runway overrun.
The KC135A waterwagon is severly underpowered, and it was only by a quick thinking Pilot that saved the day!
I wonder if our mishap crew has a similiar story to tell?


Local news station ran a story on the possibility of pilot distraction. You may be on to something.


This isn’t the first time Allegiant has done this with a sports charter. Several years ago while departing Las Cruces, NM with the New Mexico State football team on-board using an MD-80, the aircraft used 7502 feet of a 7499 foot long runway. They took out a couple runway edge lights and damage was confirmed by LRU airport management. The staff from NMSU freaked out and fired Allegiant for the return flight, we sent the aircraft home empty and hired a Pace 737-200 for the return leg. The school to this day won’t accept Allegiant bids for transportation…

Ive been around Allegiant from day one when they only had one DC-9-21 and will say they always have had a great group of employee’s but their operation scares me…


Did Allegiant explain the cause or was it hushed up like this incident?


It was kept quiet! But ask any of the staff who was on-board and they will be very vocal about this incident. The incident is brought up every year in conversation during the bidding process at NMSU…

Off topic, Frontier had a thrust reverser deploy on take-off with Southern Utah University football team on-board last month. Could of been ugly!

suunews.com/news/2010/sep/03 … ne-mishap/


Thanks for posting this, I had no idea.

It is amazing to me how these incidents did not get more attention as they were obviously near crashes.

Why nothing in the NTSB database?

We had a near crash at MSY with a TWA 727 when the pilots used flap 15 instead of 25. The 727 rolled the entire 7,000 feet, knocked out a light control box and broke branches on a 35 foot pine tree 1,300 feet from the departure end before finally climbing away.