Accident Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3 N869AC, Thursday 30 March 2023
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Date:Thursday 30 March 2023
Time:18:15 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic C25B model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3
Owner/operator:Allegis Corp
Registration: N869AC
MSN: 525B0001
Year of manufacture:2005
Total airframe hrs:4487 hours
Engine model:WILLIAMS FJ-44
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Gulf of Mexico, near Tampa, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Walnut Ridge Airport, AR (ARG/KARG)
Destination airport:Fort Myers-Page Field, FL (FMY/KFMY)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3, N869AC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident over the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot was not injured.

The business jet was equipped with Tamarack Active Technology Load Alleviation System (ATLAS) wing extensions (via supplemental type certificate) that included winglets and wing extension-mounted aerodynamic control surfaces that automatically deployed to counteract measured structural loads. Before the airplane's descent from flight level (FL) 310, the weather was clear with no turbulence. When the airplane was descending through FL 300 for FL 270, the pilot felt 'two jolts of sudden turbulence' that he described as a negative G followed by a significant positive G twice in the span of about 1 second. The pilot noted that the airplane was yawing, and he subsequently observed that the left winglet had separated, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane. He declared an emergency and landed without further incident at a nearby airport.

Review of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast and GPS revealed that, during the airplane's descent, its airspeed was slightly outside the airplane manufacturer's maximum operating speed (VMO/MMO) performance envelope. At the time of winglet separation, the airplane was descending about 5,300 ft per minute at 275 knots calibrated airspeed.

Eleven days after the accident, the separated winglet was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico; however, the section of the left wing extension that included the aerodynamic control surface was not recovered. Metallurgical examination of the recovered components revealed overstress features and no evidence of fatigue. Additionally, systems testing of the aerodynamic control surface control units, the system computer, and the enhanced ground proximity warning system revealed no anomalies. Because the aerodynamic control surface on the left wing extension was not recovered, the reason for the left wing extension and winglet separation could not be determined.

Probable Cause: The separation of the left wing extension and winglet for reasons that could not be determined based on the available evidence.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA23FA174
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

NTSB ERA23FA174

Location

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Jul-2024 08:32 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
20-Jul-2024 09:02 ASN Updated [Narrative]

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