NTSB Identification: ERA16LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 06, 2016 in SAVANNAH, GA
Aircraft: PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD PC-12, registration: N978AF
Injuries: 2 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 6, 2016, about 0830 eastern standard time, a Pilatus PC-12/47E, N978AF, operated by PlaneSense, Inc., was substantially damaged during a forced landing while taking off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), Savannah, Georgia. The captain and first officer sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight to Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Lexington, Kentucky. The positioning flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the captain stated to him that the first officer was flying, and that they were cleared to take off from runway 1. Power was applied, and throughout the takeoff roll and initial climb, all instruments were "normal." The captain then saw a "low torque CAS message," and the first officer said to declare an emergency. The captain checked that the landing gear were down, and the first officer turned the airplane left, toward open ground. The airplane then made "what appeared to be a normal landing" and appeared as though it would roll to a stop, but then encountered a drainage ditch.
The first officer added that the takeoff from runway 1 utilized the runway's full length, and that after a positive rate of climb, there was a "DING DING" with a "RED CAS" warning for torque. He also noticed that the actual torque at that time was 5.3 psi, while calculated torque was 43.3 psi. The first officer pushed the airplane's nose down, and after turning the airplane left and landing, braked "hard" before the airplane struck the ditch. After the crew egressed through the exit door, they noticed the airplane was on fire.
FAA tower observations indicted that the airplane came to rest between taxiway E and the terminal ramp west of taxiway F with the engine compartment on fire. FAA photographs revealed that the engine compartment had sustained fire damage, and that the cockpit area was charred.
The airplane was powered by a Pratt and Whitney of Canada PT-6A-67P engine. Initial on-scene examination of the engine did not reveal any obvious preexisting mechanical anomalies, so a number of engine accessories were removed for further examination at the engine manufacturer under Canadian government oversight.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11
A small aircraft went off a runway at the Savannah, Georgia, airport on Wednesday morning into a ditch and injuring two people on board, federal officials said.
The Pilatus PC-12/47E ran off the runway at 8:36 a.m. ET while departing from Savannah Hilton Head International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The aircraft came to stop in a ditch off the side of the runway.
Two people were on board and were being treated for minor injuries, Lori Lynah, an airport spokeswoman, told NBC News. Their names were not immediately released.
The aircraft is registered to Upper Deck Holdings Inc. of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was on its way to Lexington, Kentucky, airport officials said.
The Savannah Hilton Head International Airport has since reopened.