Loss of control Accident Learjet 23 N866JS, Tuesday 6 May 1980
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Date:Tuesday 6 May 1980
Time:03:12
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ23 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Learjet 23
Owner/operator:Kennedy Flite Center
Registration: N866JS
MSN: 23-018
Year of manufacture:1965
Total airframe hrs:4861 hours
Engine model:General Electric CJ610-1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:Richmond International Airport (Byrd Field), VA (RIC) -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Gainesville-J R Alison Municipal Airport, FL (GNV/KGNV)
Destination airport:Richmond International Airport (Byrd Field), VA (RIC/KRIC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
A Gates Learjet 23, N866JS, was being operated on a flight from Richmond, VA (RIC) to Louisville, KY (SDF), continuing to Gainesville, FL (GNV), and returning to Richmond. The pilot, received the appropriate weather briefings and filed three instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plans. The aircraft departed Richmond at 21:28 with two pilots aboard. The flight to Louisville was uneventful, as was the subsequent flight to Gainesville with six passengers aboard. The aircraft departed Gainesville at 01:52 with only the two pilots aboard.
Upon arrival in the Richmond area, the flightcrew requested an ILS approach to runway 33. They were cleared for the approach and landing. Witnesses stated that the aircraft crossed the runway threshold "a bit high," started to rock, and rolled inverted as engine thrust increased. The aircraft crashed adjacent to the runway at 03:12 and burst into flame. Both pilots were killed.

PROBABLE CAUSE:"The pilot's failure to maintain proper airspeed and aircraft attitude while transitioning from final approach through flare to touchdown. The low-speed/high angle-of attack flight condition precipitated wing rolloff, wingtip strikes, and ultimate loss of aircraft control.
The pilot's improper technique during roundout may have been due to fatigue, his limited knowledge, training, and experience regarding the flight characteristics of the Learjet aircraft, and distraction caused by concern over the intensity of the approach lighting."

Accident investigation:
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Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: NTSB-AAR-80-12
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 8 months
Download report: Final report

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