Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gulfstream III cabin window pane separates in flight

by B. N. Sullivan

The crew of a Gulfstream III aircraft (Gulfstream G1159A) operated by Northeastern Aviation had a weird experience last week. The outer pane of a cabin window separated from the aircraft and was ingested by an engine. Fortunately the crew were able to land the aircraft safely and none of the three crew members and two passengers on board were injured.

The strange incident happened on March 10, 2010 shortly before 1PM EST. The aircraft (registration N155MM) was en route to Stuart, FL from Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, NY. According to a Preliminary Report on the Web site of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):
The PIC stated that while passing through 35,000 feet msl, the crew heard a sound similar to a compressor stall, followed by a loss of power on the right engine. He immediately declared an emergency with air traffic control (ATC) and initiated the checklist for engine shut down in flight.

The cabin service representative came to the cockpit and informed him that the No. 4 outer window pane on the right side of the airplane had separated. The flight crew assumed the window pane had been ingested into the right engine.

The PIC then contacted ATC requested and received clearance to return to FRG. The crew made a visual approach to FRG, landing at 1318, and taxied to the ramp without further incident.
The aircraft is being examined by an FAA inspector, and debris from the cabin window is being sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further analysis.

Northeastern Aviation Corp., a Part 135 charter operator and aircraft management company, is based in Farmingdale, NY.