Monday, January 18, 2016

Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1, N711BX: Fatal accident occurred January 18, 2016 in Cedar Fort, Utah

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board : http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07

Donald L. Baker: http://registry.faa.gov/N711BX

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA054
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 18, 2016 in Cedar Fort, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 525, registration: N711BX
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 18, 2016, about 1000 mountain standard time, a Cessna 525, N711BX, was destroyed following an airframe in-flight breakup while maneuvering at altitude near Cedar Fork, Utah. The airline transport rated pilot and his sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site at the time of the event. The personal cross-county flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and active at the time of the accident. The airplane departed the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Salt Lake City, Utah, about 0950, with Tucson International Airport (TUS), Tucson, Arizona, reported as its destination. 

Initial air traffic control data indicated that shortly after takeoff and while proceeding southbound, the pilot reported that he had experienced a Flight Management System (FMS) failure, and that he needed to fly straight and climb while he tried to program the backup FMS. The controller then instructed the pilot to climb to flight level 310, or 31,000 feet mean sea level, as well as provided the pilot with vectors around light precipitation. Shortly thereafter, the pilot declared a MAYDAY, stated that he was having difficulty with the backup FMS, and that he was hand-flying the airplane. At this time the controller issued the pilot a no-gyro turn to the left to avoid precipitation, after which the airplane's airspeed was observed to fluctuate significantly. The airplane was then observed turning to the right before the radar target was lost. There were no further transmissions from the accident airplane. 

The airplane's wreckage was located in open, flat pasture ground, about 1 nautical mile (nm) southwest of Cedar Fort, Utah, and about 28 nm south-southwest of SLC. A survey of the accident site revealed that the linear debris path of wreckage extended for about 1 nm on a west to east orientation. All of the airplane's primary flight controls were accounted for at the accident site. At the time of recovery, the airplane's left engine had not been located, however, search efforts remain in progress. The wreckage was recovered to a secured storage facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination. 

At 0953, the SLC weather reporting facility, which is located about 28 nm north-northeast of the accident site, reported wind calm, visibility 10 miles, light rain, broken clouds at 2,700 feet, overcast clouds at 4,500 feet, temperature 3 degrees C, dew point 1 degree C, and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury.

N711BX first checks on with Salt Lake Departure at 21:38  http://archive-server.liveatc.net





Obituary 
Donald Baker

Donald Lee Baker, 59, died Jan. 18, 2016, in an airplane accident with his wife, Dawn Hunter-Baker, while returning from a conference in Deer Valley, Utah.

Mr. Baker moved to Tucson 30 years ago. He was raised in Venice Beach, Calif. He was the co-owner of Larsen Baker LLC, a real estate development firm he co-founded in Arizona in 1992 with partner George Larsen. Mr. Baker served as a longtime member of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s board and executive committee. He also championed the construction of the Tucson Hebrew Academy, sharing his passion for building and education. He recently earned his master’s degree in real estate development at the University of Arizona, exemplifying his love for learning and growing.

Mr. Baker was preceded in death by his father, Joey Baker. Survivors include his mother, Millie Baker; children, Lindsey and Josh; siblings, Jan and Norman; and ex-wife and friend, Shelley Pozez, along with other members of the Pozez and Lubin families.

A memorial service for Mr. Baker and Ms. Hunter-Baker will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Memorial donations may be made to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona or Tucson Hebrew Academy. Arrangements were made by Evergreen Mortuary.

Source:  http://azjewishpost.com

Dawn Elizabeth Hunter-Baker 
May 8, 1959 - January 18, 2016

Dawn Elizabeth Hunter-Baker of Newport Beach, California entered Don's life in 2008. Passed away January 18, 2016.

Dawn is part of a large and incredibly close family.

Dawn's passing leaves in tears her mother Nancy Drumheller; sisters, Janice MacAlpine (Mac) and Joyce Courville; brother, Darin Drumheller and only nephew, Brandon Bowers.

Dawn was a strong and independent businesswoman when they met and fell in love. They were married on November 11, 2011 on Catalina Island, and Dawn moved her business to Tucson to start their new life together. She became a supporting partner in all of their endeavors. They laughed often, loved deeply and truly enjoyed their life together, albeit too brief. In lieu of flowers, a donation could be made to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.  

Service
JAN 22. 10:00 AM

Jewish Community Center
3800 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ, US, 85718

Source:  http://www.evergreenmortuary-cemetery.com

  Donald Lee Baker 
May 7, 1956 - January 18, 2016 

We mourn the passing of Donald Lee Baker on January 18, 2016, who was in an airplane accident with his wife Dawn Hunter-Baker while returning from a conference in Deer Valley, Utah.


Don and Dawn were a vibrant couple who cherished their life together and who died living the life they loved. 

Don Baker, 59, moved to Tucson 30 years ago.


Don was raised in the sunshine and ocean waves of Venice Beach, California. He is the loving father of Lindsey and Josh; the dutiful son of Millie and Joey (deceased) Baker; a rock to siblings, Jan and Norman; a caring ex-husband and friend of Shelley Pozez, and a committed member of the Pozez and Lubin families. 


Don is the co-owner of Larsen Baker LLC, and a successful developer in the Arizona firm that he co-founded in 1992 with partner George Larsen. He was loved by George and Margaret, and by the entire Larsen Baker staff and well respected by Tucson's real estate and business community. 


Don's impact on the Tucson community extended well beyond his business.


Don made a lasting mark on the community at large, generously sharing his time, talent and treasures with local, state and national organizations. Donald served as a longtime member of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona's Board and Executive Committee. 


Don also championed the construction of the Tucson Hebrew Academy, sharing his passion for building and education. 


Don recently earned his Maters in Real Estate Development at the University of Arizona, exemplifying his love for learning and growing.


Don cherished his extended family and friends whom are dispersed throughout the country and across the world and are profoundly saddened by the loss of Don and Dawn. Those of us who knew them and loved them know that their memory will live on in all of our hearts. 


A Memorial Service for Don and Dawn will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 22, 2016 at the Jewish Community Center. In lieu of flowers, a donation could be made to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona or Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA).


Service

JAN 22. 10:00 AM

Jewish Community Center 
3800 E. River Road
 Tucson, AZ, US, 85718 

Source:  http://www.evergreenmortuary-cemetery.com

Donald Baker and Dawn Hunter 


TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -   Authorities have confirmed the identities of two people who were killed in a plane crash in Utah on Monday, Jan. 18. 

Donald L. Baker, 59, and his wife, Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, died when their plane, a 1999 Cessna Citation 525, crashed near Cedar Fort, according to a news release.

Baker was the owner and the pilot of the plane. 

Authorities said Baker had filed a flight plan leaving from Salt Lake City to Tucson.

It appears he encountered some kind of mechanical problems and may have been attempting to return to Salt Lake City.

Witnesses told the Utah County Sheriff’s Office they heard a loud boom and saw the airplane, on fire and coming apart, fall to the ground just before 10 a.m.

"I thought someone had actually hit the building," Cheleae Paiz, a manager of an area market, told Gephardt Daily. "I went outside and looked to see if someone had hit the building when the next thing I knew there were cops headed down the road."

According to his Facebook page, Baker is co-owner of Larsen Baker, LLC., a Tucson-based commercial real estate firm.

He married his wife a few years ago.  

Staff at Larsen Baker, LLC. released a statement Monday that stated they were "trying to digest this tragedy and ask for forbearance in this extremely trying time."

One real estate expert estimated Larsen Baker, LLC. owns more than 2.5 million square feet of retail space in southern Arizona.  

The properties they own include the Marana Marketplace, The Plaza at the Williams Center off Broadway, and the 22nd Street Auto Mall, among others.

Bruce Ash, a certified property manager at the Paul Ash Management company, had known Baker since he moved to Tucson more than 25 years ago. 

"I'm just absolutely devastated ... We traveled together. We would have dinner once a month. Don was not the sort of person to take chances. He was a very, very careful pilot; very fastidious at everything that he did, a very, very experienced flyer. I'm just devastated," Ash said.

Harry Mordka, the former owner of Harvey Mordka Realty, described Baker as a professional who was very good at what he did.  

Mordka said Baker had acquired his family-owned property, the Frontier Village shopping center at Pima and Alvernon, and done a great job in upgrading the store fronts and parking lot.

Baker was also a central figure in Tucson's Jewish community.  

Stu Mellan with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona described him as a good philanthropist who contributed time, money and expertise into bringing many projects to life.

Baker was a big champion of the Tucson Hebrew Academy and on the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

"He was a very heavy hitter. Don was one of the biggest developers and operators certainly here in Arizona, very well respected by all of his peers and by all of his competitors. Everybody thought the world of Don Baker," Ash said.

Authorities said the couple was returning home from a conference in Park City, Utah.  

Sources close to the investigation said Baker made a mayday call for help when he encountered bad weather.


Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com


CEDAR FORT, Utah – A jet plane crash in Utah County has claimed the lives of a prominent Arizona businessman and his wife.

According to Utah County Sheriff Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Donald L. Baker, 59, and his wife, Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, died when their 1999 Cessna Citation 525 crashed in a field near Cedar Fort.


Dispatchers received a call at about 10 a.m. from witnesses who reported seeing an airplane crashing in a ball of flames in a large field just west of Utah Lake, near Provo.


Cannon said they were able to locate two occupants, both of whom are deceased.


According to Flight Aware, a plane registered to Donald L. Baker of Tucson, Arizona, left the Salt Lake International Airport at 9:51 a.m Monday morning, and was headed to the Tucson International Airport. It was scheduled to arrive at 11:33 but the website does not show the plane arriving at its destination.


Sonu Wasu, a reporter with Tucson News Now, said she has spoken with a few of Baker’s colleagues, and they reported a mayday call from Baker was received indicating that he had hit “white-out” conditions, and was requesting permission to fly at higher altitudes when communication was lost.


According to his Facebook page, Baker is a co-owner of Larsen Baker, LLC., a Tucson-based commercial real estate firm. On their Linkedin page they describe the firm as the largest independent retail-commercial property owner in Tucson, managing more than 2 million square feet of commercial space in more than 148 locations throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona.


One real estate expert estimated Larsen Baker, LLC. owns more than 2.5 million square feet of retail space in southern Arizona.


A statement was given to Tucson News Now by Larsen Baker, LLC:


“Donald Baker’s plane was involved in an accident near Salt Lake City, UT. Larsen Baker has not received any official confirmation from authorities. We are trying to digest this tragedy, and we ask for forbearance in this extremely trying time. A statement will be made later this week once more information is known.”


Bruce Ash, a certified property manager at the Paul Ash Management company, told Tuscon News Now that he had known Baker since he moved to Tucson more than 25 years ago.


“I’m just absolutely devastated…we traveled together, we would have dinner once a month. Don was not the sort of person to take chances, he was a very, very careful pilot. Very fastidious at everything that he did, a very, very experienced flyer, I’m just devastated,” Ash said. “He was a very heavy hitter. Don was one of the biggest developers and operators certainly here in Arizona, very well respected by all of his peers and by all of his competitors. Everybody thought the world of Don Baker”


Baker was also a well known figure in a tight knit Jewish community.


In an interview with Tuscon News Now, Stu Mellan with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona described him as a good philanthropist who contributed time, money and expertise into bringing many projects to life.


Officials said Baker and his wife were returning home from a conference in Park City.


Story, video and photo gallery: http://gephardtdaily.com




CEDAR FORT, Utah - Officials have identified two people killed in a small plane crash in Utah County Monday morning. 

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said a witness saw the twin-engine jet go down just before 10 a.m. and saw flames on the south side of SR-73 near Cedar Fort.


Occupants aboard the aircraft were married couple Donald L. Baker, 59, and Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, from Tucson, Ariz.


The crash had broad debris field spreading over an area approximately two miles long and a quarter-mile wide, officials said.


The couple was returning home from a conference in Park City. Baker had filed a flight plan leaving from Salt Lake City to fly back to Tucson.


“It appears he encountered some kind of mechanical problems and may have been attempting to return to Salt Lake City,” officials say.


Story, video and photo gallery: http://fox13now.com




Two people were killed Monday in a plane crash near Cedar Fort in western Utah County.

According to Utah County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a call came in at 10 a.m. of a two-engine passenger jet plane crash. Witnesses said they heard a loud boom, felt a vibration and then saw smoke and flames from a small field about a mile and a half east of State Route 73.

The two people killed in the crash have been identified as the pilot and owner of the plane, Donald L. Baker, 59, of Tucson, Arizona, and his wife Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55. According to the sheriff's office, the aircraft was a 1999 Cessna Citation 525.

No foul play is expected, and neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, Cannon said.

Baker had filed a flight plan leaving from Salt Lake City bound for Tucson. According to an air traffic control broadcast, Baker lost instrument control mid-flight. However, he reported he could still fly the plane. Radar lost him a few minutes after his emergency mayday call.

"My altitude will not hold right now ... OK -- mayday -- I do need to get up higher, 711 bravo X-ray. I'm losing different instruments. I'd really like to get into clearer weather," Baker said in a radio transmission to an air traffic control tower operator.

The plane was listed as "lost" with the FAA; in flight, the plane stopped transmitting its location.

Cannon believes the plane was possibly flying north to south. The FAA visited the crash site Monday, and the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive on Tuesday. Cannon said the plane had a capacity of eight to 10 people.

Deputies and search-and-rescue crews are on scene. A search perimeter, including a debris field of at least one mile long and up to a half mile wide, has been established as officials try to determine why the plane crashed and attempt to locate the black box.

A witness on the ground, Jordan Jones from El Paso, Texas, said he heard an explosion overhead and the sound of a plane going down, though he never heard an impact. Jones was in the area while making a trailer purchase.

"I heard the explosion. I heard the plane come down," Jones said. "But I didn't hear anything of the plane hitting. ... I waited to hear the explosion, but I didn't hear anything where the plane hit."

Officials cannot confirm if the plane exploded in air or on impact.

Chelene Paiz, owner of the Junction Market, said she heard a loud sound between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. from within the store.

"All of a sudden, I thought someone had hit my building, but I look out and nobody hit my building," Paiz said. "But about 5-10 minutes later, sheriffs head down Station Road."

Weather in the Cedar Fort area was 32 degrees and overcast, with a mix of snow and rain throughout the morning. It is unknown if weather was a contributing factor in the crash.

Police and rescue teams could only access the plane by foot because of the deep snow.

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.heraldextra.com

Donald Baker and Dawn Hunter 


CEDAR FORT, Utah County — Two people died in a plane crash Monday morning, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

Police identified the victims as Donald Baker, 59, and Dawn Hunter, 55, of Tucson, Arizona. The husband and wife were returning home after a conference in Park City when the plane caught fire, according to Cannon.

Baker, the pilot, made a distress call before the plane crashed, Cannon said.

"We had witnesses who saw a plane go down," he said. "They reported they saw flames and heard a large noise or some kind of crash or explosion" around 10 a.m.

A twin-engine jet capable of carrying as many as 10 people went down about a mile east of state Route 73 in Cedar Fort, about three-quarters of a mile away from the nearest home, he said.

Authorities didn't know Monday whether there were additional fatalities aboard the aircraft or on the ground, according to Cannon.

"That debris field covers maybe as much as a mile, so we're going to be spending a lot of time looking there. We know there were at least two occupants, and both of those have died in the crash," he said.

It was not known Wednesday where the flight originated from, Cannon said, but he was certain it wasn't from the Cedar Valley Airport.

Search and rescue crews were expected to aid in the search.

"It's difficult. It's rural, open country there. There's deep snow," Cannon said, expressing concern that the debris from the crash could be buried by snow.

Story, video and photo gallery:  https://www.ksl.com


Tucson businessman Donald L. Baker
(Source: www.larsenbaker.com)


CEDAR FORT, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) Search and rescue crews are sorting through debris and wreckage, Monday evening, after a small twin engine aircraft crashed into a field, killing two people. 

The jet crashed about a mile south of SR-73 around 10:00 A.M.  

Authorities say the aircraft likely malfunctioned somehow, while still in the air.  Witnesses reported seeing flames on the aircraft and debris falling from the sky for nearly a mile before the jet crashed into the field. 

"I heard the explosion first, and then I heard the plane coming down," one witness said.  

"I thought somebody hit the building.  That's what it felt like.  It felt like somebody hit the building, and I went and I looked, and there was nobody out there.  But then, within five minutes the Sheriff's officers were down the street," said Chelene Paiz, who manages The Junction, a nearby gas station. 

The Utah County Sheriff's Office initially responded to the incident and stayed on scene assisting FAA officials, Monday evening.  Authorities say NTSB is expected to show up to investigate the crash further on Tuesday.  

Victims in Cedar Fort plane crash were identified as Donald L. Baker, 59, & Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, of Tucson, Ariz.

The aircraft was a 1999 Cessna Citation 525. Baker had filed a flight plan leaving from Salt Lake City flying to Tucson, Ariz. 

Officials say it appears he encountered some kind of mechanical problems and may have been attempting to return to Salt Lake City.

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.good4utah.com




(KUTV) Two people have died after a small plane crash in Cedar Fort Monday morning.

According to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a small twin-engine jet crashed into a field near Cedar Fort around 10 a.m. Those killed were Donald L. Baker, 59, and his wife, Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, both of Tucson, Arizona.

Cannon said Baker had filed a flight plan from Salt Lake City to Tucson, but it appears the 1999 Cessna Citation 525 aircraft had some type of mechanical problem. The plane may have been on its way back to Salt Lake when the crash occurred, Cannon said.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly how the crash happened.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom and seeing an airplane on fire and coming apart, falling to the ground.

Officials said the debris field was spread over an area about two miles long and a quarter mile wide. Investigators were conducting a search of the area to locate any items from the plane or other evidence that might be related to the crash. Heavy snow and fog made the search difficult.


Story, video and photo gallery: http://kutv.com




An Arizona couple died after a private jet flying from Salt Lake City to Tucson crashed in a snowy field in Utah on Monday morning, officials said.

Deputies from the Utah County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash after residents in Cedar Fort, a small town about 40 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, witnessed the crash of the small twin-engine aircraft at around 10 a.m.

"Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom and seeing an airplane, on fire and coming apart, falling to the ground," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Deputies discovered two bodies in the plane. The victims were later identified as Donald L. Baker, 59, and his wife, Dawn Elizabeth Hunter, 55, both of Tucson.

Baker is the co-owner and principal of Larsen Baker LLC, a prominent Tucson-based company that develops and manages commercial real estate and retail properties. According to the company's website, Baker was responsible for construction, development, acquisition and management of the firm's properties.

The plane, a Cessna 525 CitationJet CJ1, was registered to Baker.

The plane left Salt Lake City International Airport about 10 minutes before the crash and was scheduled to land in Tucson at 11:30 a.m., according to the FlightAware website, which tracks aircraft and flight paths.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said it appeared Baker experienced mechanical problems and may have been trying to fly back to Salt Lake City.

Search and rescue volunteers helped investigators comb through the broad debris field, looking for clues about the cause of the crash, the Utah authorities said.

Story and photo: http://www.azcentral.com


    

























21 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they did an apu start they would have had both alternator switches off. Not so hard to forget to turn them on. Battery would have lasted about as long as they flew before they "Started losing instruments". Should have had the standby gyro if the battery pack on that was good but maybe didn't or couldn't use it. No electric no autopilot, looking for clear air.

Anonymous said...

i'm assuming you are referring to a GPU, not an APU (ground power unit...an APU is installed in the aircraft). In the CJ1 you have a great big annunciator panel in front of the pilot that says "L GEN OFF" and "R GEN OFF" in amber letters, indicating specifically which generator is off and is ABNORMAL after start/before taxi. you also have an ammeter/voltmeter check that is on the after start checklist. the CJ series was designed with a "dark cockpit" in mind...meaning that if a "light was on" on the annunciator panel (with one or two exceptions) then something was wrong and should be quite obvious to the pilot. your theory is plausible, but i'd like to think someone with his level of experience wouldnt do something that foolish. he sounded pretty collected on the radio transmission when hand flying...seriously doubt your shot in the dark is correct. as for your "not so hard to forget to turn them on"...well...lets just say i strongly disagree and leave it at that.

written by a 7000 hour ATP rated pilot with over 1500 hours in the CJ series (CJ1,2,2+,3, and 4) and several thousand hours in other large cabin business jets.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the Gen off lights are on in the annunciatior panel when the switches are off? I think the switches have to be on and both power relays open to get the lights.

Anonymous said...

Sounds more likely that the aircraft was icing up, the instruments that the pilot reported losing were probably the result of ice forming over the pitot/static ports and AOA vane. This could be the result of failure to turn the anti-ice system on or the systems inability to cope with the amount of freezing precipitation that they encountered.

tanmanski said...

Are you sure the Gen off lights are on in the annunciatior panel when the switches are off?

I think that's a valid question that will have to be answered by someone with expert knowledge of that airplane. In some aircraft its possible the logic would be "switches are off, therefore the system is doing what the pilot commanded and no caution light would be illuminated"....BUT, I seriously doubt Cessna would adopt that logic. In most cases (the planes I am familiar with) if the generator is not supplying power the caution light will be illuminated REGARDLESS of switch selection. There is no "normal" flight regime where generators would be off.

I agree with the experienced pilot poster above. I seriously doubt an experience jet pilot who knew he was flying into IFR, would have skipped over his checklist or somehow missed turning on both generators, then failed to recognize he had done so when electrical problems began to present.

What I think is more interesting is the possibility the aircraft caught fire in the air. That would be highly unusual and cause for intense investigation. Having an electrical failure in bad weather and loosing control is not uncommon, but in flight fires are very rare.(thankfully)

It's also interesting to note the fuselage forward section is largely intact, indicating fairly low forward and vertical velocities on impact. All relative of course, but I believe if that plane was pointed nose down at 300 knots the impact damage would have been much more significant.

I'll be following this investigation to see what the evidence proves, but as of now there seems to be 2 possibilities. 1. The aircraft experienced an electrical failure in bad weather and the pilot lost control before he could return to an airport, or 2. The aircraft experienced an electrical problem which led to a fire and an explosion or loss of control.

Condolences to all who knew the Bakers. I didn't know them personally but obviously a loss to the community.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll probably get flamed for saying this, and I have no intention of defaming the deceased. Most anyone that achieves a single Pilot rating in a jet is a real aviation enthusiast and worthy of respect. However, IMO, unless an "Owner Pilot" is retired military or former professional Pilot, they have no business flying single pilot in a turbojet (or any aircraft) in poor weather. They may be "very experienced" to some and have received excellent training from a FAA approved school, but at the end of the day they are still hobby Pilots that usually have more money than the kind of experience that allows a professional a chance to recover from a bad situation. As a retired airline Pilot and current 525 Citation Pilot I can speak from firsthand experience that many (most?) owner Pilots do not have the ability to handle a true emergency outside of the repetitious and non-lethal simulator environment in which they received their training. Oh, and to answer an earlier question, a off or failed generator will illuminate an amber caution light on the annunciator panel. I don't care to speculate on what happened here, it is a tragedy that is best left to the NTSB. Perhaps it was an unrecoverable situation, although that is unlikely.

Anonymous said...

As a retired airline and CJ series pilot I strongly agree with the above post. In my opinion, an owner rated pilot is exercising poor judgement flying single pilot in a jet, especially in poor weather. In a jet, a multitude of things can go wrong very fast. If two rated pilots were up front, the outcome might have turned out different. Condolences to the family and friends of the couple who lost their lives.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the two comments immediately above this. I am a private pilot who files an MU2 and one has to set personal minimums as a "hobby pilot". In my case my personal minimums are are basically VFR minimums at origination and destination. If around higher terrain then 2000 feet ceiling is a personal minimum I set. Getting into the soup seconds after takeoff is best left to the pros who get paid to do it. If you are going to launch into weather as this gentleman did at the very least brief the approach you would like to use should an emergency arise shortly after departure. The fact that even though an emergency was encountered right after departure the thought of returning to SLC was not considered. If icing was an issue then heading downhill towards a landing when he was told that an aircraft at FL 190 was still in the soup would have been the more prudent decision. I realize this may seem like arm chair quarterbacking but I would never have departed with snow falling and low ceilings. If I had to get back take a commercial flight and pick the airplane up in a day or two.

Anonymous said...

Another ATP and 525/S guy checking in. The above consensus about the GEN switches is correct: Either GEN off bus, whether by failure or switch, will show on the annunciator panel. It's also pretty difficult to miss the pitot/static/AOA anti-ice before takeoff, as that will give you a whole slew of lights too. Not impossible, but unlikely.

I think we all know how it feels to get too overloaded too quickly, and it sounds like that's what happened here for whatever reason. The best we can hope is to eventually learn something valuable from this incident. That's what I'd want if it were me.

RIP

DarkMath said...

I've read about so many of these small jet crashes, the more I read the more I wonder if the FAA needs to mandate a fully automated flight control system. Make it like driving a car and leave the rest up to computers. Then mandate a full parachute system so if all else fails you can float the plane to the ground. I know it sounds draconian but it's just tough reading about such fine people dying such horrible deaths....Sigh....

Anonymous said...

Don Baker and I were close personal friends and we shared a hangar together in Tucson. I want to address the "Hobby Pilot" comments made in this thread. First, Don trained every six months at Flight Safety. He had a very safety oriented attitude. In his past, he successfully landed a P210 without a scratch after it threw a rod over central AZ. Another time, many years ago with his father-in-law at the controls, they lost an engine while IMC in a Cessna piston twin (I can't recall but it may have been a C340.) The aircraft suffered an upset and Don was able to successfully assist with the recovery and safe landing without a wrinkle on the skin. I flew with him many times and Don took a very professional attitude toward all of his operations. He demonstrated good checklist discipline, excellent situational awareness, good airmanship and he maintained his airplane with an open checkbook. Don did his original type rating at Flight Safety where they put him through a very rigorous training program. At the time, his insurance required that he fly 100 hours with a mentor pilot. He eventually accomplished an ATP rating and he had been flying the CJ without incident for nearly 15 years. We'll have to wait to see what the NTSB has to say about it, but Don knew quite well how to hand fly on instruments. In my view, the real trap happens when doubt creeps in about what is working and what isn't. Creeping confusion becomes almost insurmountable during any kind of cascading failure. That kind of confusion isn't restricted to single pilots--just look at the Air France 447 where three pilots were involved.

Anyone with a notion that single pilot jet operators are "hobby pilots" is simply unaware of the safety record for single pilot jets or what it takes to get there. The fact is that the safety record has been excellent for single pilot jet owners. Furthermore, the notion that single pilot turbine operators should stay out of bad weather completely ignores the reality of IFR operations in aircraft that regularly operate in the flight levels.

JH, Tucson/Bend

Anonymous said...

Thanks JH for your input. Well taken. We are all aware that in aviation you cannot refute the fact that sometimes you do not get a second chance. Additionally, IMC in the flight levels is very different than IMC during approach operations. It can get extremely busy on an arrival. Hence, two qualified pilots up front are a lot safer than one. Especially when there are distractions, abnormal or emergency situations in turbine equipment. In a crew environment, both pilots have their specific responsibilities and can handle the situation much better. Especially closer to the ground. An example would be that one pilot is operating the aircraft (flying) while the other is running the QRC, troubleshooting and operating the radio. Fly safe my friend. And thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thurmond Munson certainly launched a long standing attitude about rich guy, hobby pilots flying jets. Even now, it's a common misperception that SP operations are less safe than crewed operations but the accident record doesn't support that conclusion. Here is an article that looks at the issue (and there are many more out there:)

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2015-06-05/accident-analysis-single-pilot-versus-two-pilot-there-safety-advantage

The SP accident record is skewed a bit by the accident record in the older 500/501 series Citations and the Premier 1 but it is what it is. Regardless, the record shows fewer accidents in SP operations; though the fatality rate is higher. There is no doubt that having two pilots available to manage a flight is a good thing; however, this (and other) data clearly shows that SP and crew operators in turbofan aircraft achieve a similar level of operational safety.

JH, Tucson/Bend
~5000hr ATP, C500, C510, CFI, CFII

Anonymous said...

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA054 so far considers this to be "an airframe in-flight breakup while maneuvering at altitude"; "at the time of recovery, the airplane's left engine had not been located..."
I know he was not flying the line and had a day job, but "hobby pilot" when the NTSB states "The airline transport rated pilot..."?

Thanks all for the solid comments and the stuff I learned.

Anonymous said...

The real issue here is about risk management. There are a lot of variables to consider. The debate about SP and crew operations will go on for as long as the insurance companies will allow SP operations. The other topic to explore might be complacency. Generally, aviation on all levels is safe. But unfortunately, incidents and accidents do, and will happen.

So sorry JH that you lost your close friend.

Anonymous said...

Subsequent to reading NTSB Identification: WPR16FA054, I am of the opinion that the post that begins "Thanks JH for your input" is spot on. It appears that there was a major distraction that lent to the pilot having major challenges flying the aircraft.

It is much to early to tell. We will all have to see what is said in the final report.

Steven Russell said...

I have also flown with Mr. Baker several times as has JH. Personally, I sat 4 hours with him as we waited a rain storm out over northern Arizona as it just was not worth the risk. I know that none of you knew him like I. He was my mentor for 10 years, and lifetime friend. I had just left his employment the month before, but we talked often and I still sought his advice. He was experienced, methodical and completely professional both in business and always with his flying.

We will never know why he took off that day. I have asked myself 1000 times why he felt the need to fly into any weather. He and his wife are missed deeply by the community that is Tucson!

Anonymous said...

This plane came apart keep in mind. The fact that if that engine starting pulling away from the main fuselage, all kinds of bells and whistles are going to be happening considering how much electrically is powered from the turbines. As to whether the break up started occurring before or after the initial issues is anyone's guess. If you look close to those photos you can see also how one of the wings was torn off, not ripped. That plane was coming apart as it was coming down but not from over speed, or there wouldn't get anything left of that aircraft. Possible the plane was overflown & came apart? Maybe. Possibly a quick hit of extreme turbulence climbing out causing damage,very possible, if you look at the weather and METARs at the time off accident. This man knew how to fly & was not flying out of his bounds. I see airlines pull crap in weather with inferior and low time pilots everyday, that's scary. This guy was more than qualified & not just a push button pilot. He was one of us you know & took it very serious. We all need to wait for the report, it could've been one thing or a number of things, we weren't in that cockpit. My heart goes out to the friends & familes, it's a terrible tragedy. Flying will never be routine & I hope many lives are saved & lessons learned. May the families get answers and closure.

Steven Russell said...

When and where can we find the final NTSB/FAA accident report?

Anonymous said...

Steven the final report will not be out for a while. A year to 18 months is the norm. You can find the report when it is out at NTSB.GOV The preliminary report is out now. The cockpit area looks pretty intact and I am hopeful the NTSB can come up with a definitive probable cause for this accident.

Anonymous said...

At this time the controller issued the pilot a no-gyro turn to the left to avoid precipitation, after which the airplane's airspeed was observed to fluctuate significantly.

'airspeed' should be 'groundspeed'.