Reported Engine Problem Before Hard Landing At NQA
the first time in over a year, there's been an accident involving a
Mitsubishi MU-2 turboprop aircraft.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports the pilot of an MU-2
(similar to type shown at right and below) radioed the tower at the
Millington Regional Jetport (NQA) north of Memphis, TN just before
11 am, reporting engine trouble. The pilot initially said he would
shoot for an emergency landing on US Highway 51, west of the
airfield... but later realized he could make the airport.
Based on reported information, the aircraft landed hard near the
end of runway 4. The plane skated sideways off the pavement,
plowing through grass and a chain link fence before coming to rest
over 100 yards distant. The plane's left wing broke inboard of the
engine nacelle, bending downward and causing the engine's propeller
to cut into the fuselage.
Compounding the problem was the fact the pilot, who was injured
in the crash, had problems shutting that engine down. It took
several firefighters, spraying foam into the nacelle, to bring the
turbine to a halt.
Paramedics were then able to extract the pilot, carrying him on
a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. His condition is unknown at
Based on news reports, it's not clear whether the plane was
departing the airfield or landing when the emergency occurred.
However, online flight tracking information shows an IFR flight
plan filed for the accident aircraft, N452MA, showing a departure
time from NQA of 0940 CST, with the flight terminating two minutes
According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board,
the high-performance MU-2 has been involved in 19 accidents since
2003, with 12 of those resulting in fatalities. The high rate of
fatal crashes in a comparatively short timeframe prompted calls for
the plane to be grounded,
with Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo among the most vocal
opponents of the plane.
The FAA responded by calling for comments from MU-2 owners and
operators, to determine the best course of action. That resulted in
the January 2008 issuance of a Special Federal Aviation
Regulation (SFAR) calling for new pilot training,
experience, and operating requirements for the speedy aircraft,
with a particular focus on emergency procedures training, slow
flight and one-engine-out operations.
Prior to Tuesday's accident, there had been no reported
incidents involving the MU-2 since the SFAR was issued.