Accident Cessna 560 Citation V HB-VLV, Thursday 20 December 2001
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Date:Thursday 20 December 2001
Type:Silhouette image of generic C560 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 560 Citation V
Owner/operator:Eagle Air Ltd. Aircharter + Taxi
Registration: HB-VLV
MSN: 560-0077
Year of manufacture:1990
Total airframe hrs:3559 hours
Cycles:3528 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH) -   Switzerland
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH)
Destination airport:Berne-Belp Airport (BRN/LSZB)
Investigating agency: BFU Switz.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Cessna Citation HB-VLV arrived at Zürich at 20:31 following a charter flight from East Midlands. The airplane was scheduled to be ferried to Bern the same evening. Takeoff was postponed due to deteriorating weather circumstances. This meant additional pressure on the crew since they had to arrive at Bern before 22:30 for which the company CEO had received a special authorisation. Finally at 21:43 the crew were cleared to start the engines. The aircraft then taxied to runway 34 for departure. The crew taxied onto the runway and, after they had received takeoff clearance at 22:05:54, initiated a rolling takeoff by setting takeoff power. At this time, meteorological visibility was 100 m with partial fog. After reaching a height of 500 to 600 ft above ground level, the aircraft began to loose altitude. A corrective manoeuvre was commenced though this was not able to prevent impact with the ground. The aircraft impacted onto the frozen ground 400 m to the south-east of the end of runway 34 and skidded in a northerly direction, leaving a trail of debris.

The accident is attributable to the fact that the crew of HB-VLV did not continue their climb after take-off. As a result the aircraft came in a descent and collided with the terrain. The investigation determined the following causal factor for the accident:
- With a high degree of probability the crew lost spatial orientation after take-off, leading to an unintentional loss of altitude.
The following factors contributed to the accident:
- The copilot’s basic training in instrument flying did not include night instrument take-offs.
- The crew’s method of working was adversely affected by great time pressure.
- Executing the take-off as a rolling take-off was not adapted to the prevailing meteorological conditions.
- There was no system in the aircraft which triggers an alarm in the event of a loss of altitude after take-off (GPWS).
- The instrumentation on the copilot’s side of the aircraft involved in the accident was not optimal.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BFU Switz.
Report number: No. 1829
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) Václav Kudela; Berne-Belp Airport (BRN); August 2001

Revision history:


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