Built in 1973, the aircraft was originally registered N40270. Following it's transfer to the UK, the aircraft was registered to Northern Executive Aviation Limited as G-TAXI on 6 April 1978. Apart from a brief period under the ownership of private pilot Derek Garner in late 1989,[N 1] G-TAXI remained the property of Northern Executive Aviation until 21 March 1990, when the registration was cancelled by the Civil Aviation Authority. The aircraft was subsequently registered to Yorkair Limited between 21 May 1990 and 6 January 1997.
In the early afternoon of 24 February 2002, G-TAXI was being used to complete a license renewal flight for one of the pilots. After taxiing to the threshold of Runway 25 it was cleared to line up to allow the crew to carry out their pre-takeoff power checks. During these checks the crew became aware of a burning smell in the cockpit. and observed smoke emanating from the right engine. The pilot reported a fire on the radio, shut down both engines and the aircraft was evacuated. ATC, who had also observed smoke from the aircraft, activated the crash alarms.
At the time the Airfield Fire Service (AFS) were involved in a training exercise but they arrived on the scene some 4 minutes after the occurrence was reported. The right hand engine cowling was removed and extinguishant was applied to control the smoke. At no time did anyone observe any flame.
Subsequent examination of the right engine revealed that the inboard branch of the exhaust system had fractured allowing hot gases to impinge directly onto the fibreglass cowling. The engineer who examined the engine commented that this section of exhaust crosses over the engine with very little support and is prone to fatigue. Furthermore he commented that the exhaust had been visually examined during an annual inspection carried out on the aircraft some two months earlier, but without extensive testing it was unlikely that the incipient failure would have been detected.
Further inspection of the aircraft and associated maintenance records by the CAA revealed FAA Airworthiness Directive (AD) 72-14-05 had not been accomplished. This AD involves inspection of engine exhaust stack assemblies for cracks, flaking, burns or distortion and states that defective parts must be replaced prior to further flight. The inspection of the right hand engine revealed several weld repairs that were not permitted by the AD.
By midnight on 31 December 2007, the aircraft had flown 6,722 hours.
- ↑ Garner's ownership of G-TAXI began on 30 October and ended on 16 November
- ↑ http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/G-TAXI.html
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 https://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=60&pagetype=65&appid=1&mode=detailnosummary&fullregmark=TAXI
- ↑ https://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=60&pagetype=65&appid=1&mode=reg&fullregmark=TAXI
- ↑ http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/dft_avsafety_pdf_501689.pdf