Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Aviation Accident

Quick Launch

NTSB Identification: CEN09IA481
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Friday, July 31, 2009 in Sugar Land, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY BE-400A, registration: N679SJ
Injuries: 8 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The airplane was on departure roll approaching 95 knots when one large and two smaller birds were observed flying across the plane’s flight path from left to right. The pilots were unable to react before at least one of the birds struck the airplane. The pilot stated that the right engine immediately lost all power and the crew subsequently rejected the takeoff. Postflight examination of the airplane revealed that all but one of the right engine’s fan blades were fractured and the inlet duct had separated from the front of the engine and was hanging by a bleed air duct. Bird remains from a 1 ½- to 2-pound juvenile yellow-crowned night heron were found on the runway and in the right engine. Examination of the engine revealed that the engine spinner had separated from the engine due to the bird strike and entered the engine, resulting in the liberation of the fan blades and subsequent failure of the engine. The engine was certified to ingest a four-pound goose. However, the certification requirements in place at the time did not require the spinner to be tested during the certification process. The certification requirements were later updated to require testing of the spinner.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
  • The failure of the spinner following an unavoidable bird strike. Contributing to the incident were the inadequate engine bird strike certification requirements in place at the time the engine was certified.