Friday, December 30, 2016

Cessna 525C Citation CJ4, N614SB, Superior Beverage Group: Fatal accident occurred December 29, 2016 near Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (KBKL), Cleveland, Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Olmsted, Ohio 

Maverick Air LLC:

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 29, 2016 in Cleveland, OH
Aircraft: CESSNA 525, registration: N614SB
Injuries: 6 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 December 29, 2016, at 2257 eastern standard time, a Cessna model 525C (Citation CJ4) airplane, N614SB, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with Lake Erie shortly after takeoff from runway 24R (6,604 feet by 15o feet, asphalt) at the Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL), Cleveland, Ohio. The pilot and five passengers are missing and presumed fatal. The airplane was registered to Maverick Air LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The intended destination was the Ohio State University Airport (OSU), Columbus, Ohio.

The pilot and passengers initially departed OSU about 1730 and arrived at BKL about 1800. The pilot checked in at the fixed base operator (FBO) at 1812. The pilot and passengers reportedly attended a local sporting event before returning to the airport about 2230.

An initial review of Air Traffic Control (ATC) transmissions between the pilot and the Midwest ATC Federal Contract Tower at BKL revealed that the pilot requested the IFR clearance at 2247, followed by the taxi clearance at 2251. At 2256, the pilot informed the BKL tower controller that he was holding short of the runway and ready for takeoff. The controller subsequently cleared the pilot for takeoff and instructed him to turn right to a heading of 330 degrees and maintain 2,000 feet msl after departure. The pilot acknowledged the clearance. After takeoff, the controller instructed the pilot to contact departure control; however, no further communications were received from the pilot. After multiple attempts to contact the pilot were unsuccessful, the controller initiated search and rescue procedures.

Automated Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) position data indicated that the takeoff began about 2256:47 (hhmm:ss). The data depicted the airplane entering a right turn shortly after crossing the runway departure threshold. The airplane became established on a magnetic course of 310 degrees at about 2257:28. During this time, the airplane reached an altitude of approximately 2,925 feet msl. About 5 seconds later, the airplane entered a descending right turn that continued until the final data point. The final data point was recorded at 2257:52 and was located 1.83 miles northwest of BKL. The associated altitude was 775 feet msl.

The resulting search and recovery effort was hampered by weather and lake conditions. Airplane debris, including the cockpit voice recorder, was ultimately located about 0.10 mile northeast of the final data point. The cockpit voice recorder was transferred to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for readout. A detailed wreckage examination will be conducted once recovery operations have concluded.

The Cessna 525C Citation CJ4 airplane has a low-wing, T-tail airframe arrangement, with a retractable tricycle landing gear configuration. The cabin is pressurized and the airplane is capable of operating at a maximum pressure altitude of 45,000 feet. It is configured for up to 10 occupants including the pilot(s). The airplane is approved for single pilot operations provided the pilot-in-command holds a CE525S (single pilot) type rating, the airplane is configured for single pilot operations in accordance with the operating limitations, and the pilot occupies the left pilot seat.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the accident airplane was a 2012 model year Cessna 525C, serial number 525C-0072. It was powered by two Williams International FJ44-4A turbofan engines, serial numbers 211155 and 211156. The airplane was initially issued a commuter category standard airworthiness certificate in January 2012. It was subsequently exported to Brazil. The airframe and engines had accumulated about 10 hours total time when exported. The airplane was imported to the United States and purchased by the accident owner in October 2016. The airframe and engines had accumulated about 812 hours total time when the airplane was returned to the United States. Available records indicated that the most recent maintenance activity occurred on December 17, 2016. At that time the airplane had accumulated 860 hours total time.

FAA records revealed that the accident pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument airplane category/class ratings. In addition, the pilot held CE-510S and CE-525S type ratings. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate without limitations on October 15, 2015. The pilot's CE-525S type rating was added December 8, 2016, after he successfully completed the prescribed FAA practical test (checkride). His initial Cessna 525 training was completed in the accident airplane. The pilot subsequently completed a simulator-based recurrent training course at FlightSafety International on December 17, 2016.