Looking back at the flight activity history of N999LJ, it appears that this jet could have had recent maintenance issues. Please note that this is personal speculation only and has not been confirmed by anyone. On September 12, 2008 the Lear 60 departed Teterboro (KTEB) en route to Tulsa (KTUL). However, it diverted back to Teterboro for a total flight time of twenty-two (22) minutes. A few days later, on September 18, 2008, the jet flew KTEB - KTEB for forty-seven (47) minutes. The next day, September 19, 2008, the jet flew from Teterboro (KTEB) to Columbia Metropolitan (KCAE). This flight was to pick up the passengers involved in the accident. It then departed, apparently VFR, on the accident flight, crashing and killing four of the six aboard.
Sorry to break it, but I had read the Aero-News article and posted my comments as the flight history wasn’t mentioned here. However, I didn’t copy the text.
I believe that Aero-News had already checked the tracking page. The sequence of events was: I read the article, then came here, checked the history, and made my post as the flight activity history wasn’t discussed in the thread. I elaborated on their words, and all mine were original and not pasted off Aero-News.
Comment from another pilot associated with N999LJ as well as personal friends with the co-pilot.
“The aircraft had indeed been in for maintenance prior to this flight, but it was in for bleed air issues that they were having at altitude. I’ll leave the door open, but I can’t see how the problem that they were having could have led to this accident and I am inclined to say that it was incidental to what happened in Columbia.”
The doomed crew piloting a Learjet that crashed on takeoff, killing four people and injuring two popular musicians, thought a tire blew as they hurtled down the runway and struggled unsuccessfully to stop the plane, a federal safety official said Sunday.
National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman said a cockpit voice recording of the Friday night crash indicates the crew tried to abort the takeoff, but then signaled the efforts were failing.
“The crew reacted to a sound that was consistent with a tire blowout,” Hersman said.
Query U.S. results at http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/Response2.asp for tire blow-out for Part 121: Air Carrier resulted in 4 records; Part 135: Air Taxi and Commuter; 1 record; and General Aviation 7 records. All results were non-fatal.
NTSB member Debbie Hersman has said pieces of tire were recovered about 2,800 feet from where the plane started its takeoff down the 8,600-foot runway. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. manufactured the tires on the Learjet, the company said Monday.