Flying Cheap

Incident - March 1, 2002 - Boise, Idaho

The flight, operated by Horizon Air, was scheduled to depart from Seattle, Wash. en route to Boise,Idaho.

Fatalities 0
Serious injuries0
Minor injuries0
Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Final Summary

During en route cruise, there was a failure of a number two system elevator hydraulic line. This resulted in a loss of hydraulic fluid and loss of pressurization in the number two system. The loss of this system resulted in the rudder being dependent upon the sole remaining activation system (hydraulic system number one) for its operation. After the landing gear was lowered manually, the aircraft landed without further incident, but because the loss of the number two system rendered the nose wheel steering inoperative, the aircraft had to be towed from the runway. The reason for the failure of the hydraulic line could not be positively determined.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Cause

The partial failure of one of the number two hydraulic system elevator hydraulic lines, leading to the loss of fluid and pressure in that system during cruise flight. This loss resulted in reliance upon the sole remaining activation system (number one hydraulic) to operate the rudder.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Factual Narrative

On March 1, 2002, approximately 1840 mountain standard time, a Horizon Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-401, N410QX, experienced a failure of the number two hydraulic system during en route cruise to Boise, Idaho. The airline transport pilot, his first officer, the two flight attendants, and the 69 passengers were not injured, and the aircraft did not sustain any damage. The 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled passenger flight, which departed Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington, about two hours earlier, was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. The flight, which was on an IFR flight plan, eventually landed at its destination around 1900. There was no emergency evacuation.

According to the flight crew, during en route cruise, they noticed the number two hydraulic system quantity beginning to decrease. As they began to run the appropriate checklist, they noticed the illumination of several hydraulic system caution lights. Eventually, the number two system lost pressurization, and the rudder became dependent upon the sole remaining system (hydraulic system number one) for its movement. After the landing gear was extended manually, the aircraft landed without further incident, but it had to be towed from the runway, as the failure of the number two system rendered the nose wheel steering inoperable.

It was later discovered that the number two system hydraulic line to the elevator had failed, leading to a loss of pressure in the number two system. The reason for the failure could not be positively determined.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010