Friday, July 17, 2020

Cessna 680A Citation Latitude, N8JR: Accident occurred August 15, 2019 at Elizabethton Municipal Airport (0A9), Carter County, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
P&W Canada; Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Elizabethton, TN
Accident Number: ERA19FA248
Date & Time: 08/15/2019, 1537 EDT
Registration: N8JR
Aircraft: Textron Aviation Inc 680A
Injuries: 3 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On August 15, 2019, about 1537 eastern daylight time, a Textron Aviation Inc. 680A, N8JR, was destroyed during a runway excursion after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport (0A9), Elizabethton, Tennessee. The airline transport-rated pilot and copilot were not injured. The three passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to JRM Air LLC and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated at Statesville Regional Airport (SVH), Statesville, North Carolina at 1519 and was destined for 0A9.

According to the flight crew, the flight departed SVH under visual flight rules and climbed to 12,500 ft. No air traffic control services were requested. The preflight, departure, and en route portions of the flight were routine. Approaching 0A9, the crew announced their intentions to land on runway 24 via the airport's common traffic advisory frequency.

Airport surveillance video captured the initial touchdown, which occurred near the runway touchdown zone, and portions of the accident sequence. The airplane bounced twice, then continued airborne down runway 24 until it touched down a third time with about 1,000 ft of paved surface remaining. The video revealed that the right main landing gear collapsed and the outboard section of the right wing contacted the runway shortly after the third touchdown. The airplane departed the paved surface beyond the runway 24 departure end threshold, through an open area of grass, down an embankment, through a chain-link fence, and up an embankment, coming to rest on the edge of Tennessee Highway 91.

The pilots' account of the landing was generally consistent with the video. The pilots also reported that, following the second bounce, a go-around was attempted; however, the airplane did not respond as expected, so they landed straight-ahead on the runway and could not stop the airplane prior to the excursion. After the airplane came to a stop, the flight crew secured the engines and assisted the passengers with the evacuation. The main entry door was utilized to exit the airplane. A postaccident fire was in progress during the evacuation.

The airplane came to rest upright, on a true heading of 285ยบ. The fuselage aft of the main entry door, the right wing, and the empennage were consumed by the postaccident fire. The left main and nose landing gear were separated from the airframe during the impact sequence. The right main landing gear remained under the right wing and was heavily fire damaged.

The airplane, also known as the Citation Latitude, was a low wing, cruciform tail design with twin, fuselage-mounted Pratt and Whitney Canada 360D turbofan engines. It was equipped with two cockpit seats and nine passenger seats. The airplane was built in 2015 and the owner purchased the airplane new. The total time of the airframe was about 1,165 hours. The maximum takeoff weight was 31,025 lbs. The cockpit, which was undamaged by fire, was equipped with a Garmin G5000 advanced integrated flight deck (flat screen displays and touch screen controls) that recorded numerous flight and systems parameters. The data was successfully downloaded following the accident. The airplane was also equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The CVR was damaged by the postaccident fire and was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC for examination and download.

The pilot, seated in the left cockpit seat and acting as the flying pilot and pilot-in-command, held an airline transport pilot certificate and a type rating in the accident airplane. He reported 5,800 hours total flight experience, including 765 hours in the accident airplane. His latest recurrent training occurred in October 2018.

The copilot, seated in the right cockpit seat, held an airline transport pilot certificate and a type rating in the accident airplane. He reported 11,000 hours total flight experience, including 1,165 hours in the accident airplane. His latest recurrent training occurred in October 2018.

The reported weather at 0A9 at 1535 included calm wind, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 4,700 and 5,500 ft, broken clouds at 7,000 ft, and altimeter setting 29.97 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Textron Aviation Inc
Registration: N8JR
Model/Series: 680A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:No 
Operator: JRM Air LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K0A9, 1592 ft msl
Observation Time: 1535 EDT 
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4700 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Statesville, NC (SVH)
Destination: Elizabethton, TN (0A9)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 3 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.367222, -82.181667


  1. The analysis in the docket of the approach and landing is a very interesting read:

  2. From the NTSB Record of Flight Crew Interview:

    "The flight crew reported that they have never performed an aborted landing, or balked landing, as they attempted during this flight. They also reported that they do not recall performing aborted landings at any of their simulator trainings."

    Training is unlikely to present a scenario where throttles are at idle, airplane has bounced back into the air but thrust reversal has already been selected and unlocked thrust reversers cause a logic-block preventing thrust application for a go around.

    They knew they were fast and had been getting warnings for the high sink rate on final that set them up for the bouncing. The improper use of the thrust reversers was intended to make up for an unstable approach. Very lucky to walk away alive.

  3. If Dale Jr. doesn't rehire them they could always apply at PIA. They need pilots who put the gear down during unstable approaches and quit trying to go around once they figure they are staying on the ground.

  4. Repercussions = Mr. Pope was asked if he felt that there may have been repercussions from Jeff (the copilot), Dale Jr., or his wife if he they had elected to discontinue the approach and go around. “Absolutely not.”

    Always impressed when pilots describe their decisions.

    One of the good things of aviation is that pilots often share their mistakes. That certainly happens with my employer which encourages a culture of safety, not blame.

  5. Those high sink rates - I guess they thought they'd convert excess airspeed to instantly stop the drop at the thresh hold. ?? Would like to hear their rationale for this approach.

  6. Holes in the cheese lined up. Analysis and CVR transcript shows:

    - Started descent but had to climb for last ridge & re-establish
    - Speed braked to get down to gear extension speed; gear, then flaps
    - Sink rate warning, terrain warning, then 500' AGL announcement
    - PNF (pilot not flying) tells PF (pilot flying) "we're really fast"
    - PF: "Do I need to go around?" PNF: "No"
    - PF: "I got the speed brakes out"
    - PNF: "you should get rid of those.." (not allowed below 500' AGL)
    - PF: "alright, I'll be on the T-Rs quickly"

    The expectation of both pilots was no go around. Thrust reversers were selected during first gear planting, but on the third bounce PF decided to attempt a go around. Doing so converted the landing into a bumpy touch and go.

    The AFM says use of thrust reversers is prohibited during touch-and-go landings. The training module covers nominal usage and verification of the thrust reverser system. Training and flight manual instructions don't teach what specifically will happen for thrust reverser usage in a touch and go because that usage is forbidden.

    This accident is another example where trying to compensate and "save" an unstable approach was the wrong decision. The "alright, I'll be on the T-Rs quickly" decision was a substitute for speed brake usage after being reminded about the 500' to on-ground speed brake limitation that was already being violated.

  7. I wonder how long it took for the crew to arrive at the accident scene ... considering how far they were behind the plane. Glad everyone hot out.

  8. If you're ATP flying left seat in a commercial jet aircraft requiring a type rating, and you feel the need to ask the guy in right seat if you should go-around or not, you're in the wrong line of work... period.

  9. Jets and short runways sometimes don't mix ...
    the more parameters in your favor the better your margin for error because there will always be some component of error .. even if miniscule
    Like my old surgeon mentor always said .. "Don't allow the problem to happen"

  10. Winds were calm so they could have shot the RNAV 6 approach. A few more minutes in the air and less terrain to worry about too.

  11. What is chilling (especially the CVR transcript) is that these morons were actually hired in the first place.
    What is it with people who can afford to own\hire don’t check the qualifications of who they hire to fly them.

    1. Johnny Depp and the looting of his fortune by his financial "experts", Kobe and the heli crash, that Katz billionaire dude killed by the crew of his private jet on takeoff and here a couple of morons who almost killed their boss too.
      Some stuff you gotta do yourself best i.e if you can afford a damn jet or personal high speed transport why not dedicate the time to learn to fly it yourself, especially if your loved ones will be onboard?
      And if you think you don't have the time just simplify other areas of your life to do it or else stick to driving.

  12. Kinetic energy of the moving aircraft is related to the square of velocity. Understanding the increase in distance required to dissipate energy after landing at higher speed is part of the pilot's Aeronautical Decision Making responsibilities.

    Their speed across the threshold of 126 knots instead of 108 was 17% higher in velocity, but increased the kinetic energy by 36%. Decisions made in haste to deal with that higher energy state they were carrying across the threshold caused the cascading events that followed.

  13. The most important quality in a pilot is judgement. If they had filed IFR and used the capability of the jet Dale Jr. paid for this accident probably wouldn't have happened.

    1. Correct! Did they not even select OA9 in the Garmin? NTSB interview transcript said they were trying to identify landmarks on the ground to find the airport. Poor discipline along with poor judgement.

    2. "This accident could have been avoided if they had filed IFR"????

      These two were going around looking for an accident to happen - read the CVR - just a couple of morons who managed to get licences.

  14. Just noticed in the photos how that fence is wrapped around the fuselage just aft of the main cabin door. Imagine if it was blocking it. Like the 777 at SFO, a reminder that qualified professionals are capable of wrecking a perfectly good airplane under ideal conditions. So glad Dale Jr. and family are safe.

  15. In the end the PIC is the operator... it doesn't matter how many layers of certification the people they surround themselves with have, this is not a way to safeguard against the most blatant mistakes. Nikki Lauda had his own airlines and learned to fly large jets and even acted as captain on some flights. Likewise there is 0 reasons those celebrities can't take the time to learn to fly it themselves. You can't delegate tasks which outcome can be your death if not done right.
    That applies to common pilots too: Learn to maintain your own airplanes for example, or become a lawyer. If you have been a pilot for decades but still not an A&P there is an issue.
    The age of specialization is over. There is so much free info and education available out there it doesn't make sense to not DIY.

    1. In the end, Bill Gates said it correctly that the only thing he can't buy is time. And the only thing you shouldn't delegate is raising your children.

      So 1+1 = if you can afford it, just get netjets. Unionized dispatcher, unionized weather meteorologist, unionized A&P, and unionized pilots.

    2. Bill Gates is the scourge of humanity. His Windows OS set back technology decades behind and his unethical business practices created a legacy of crapware to haunt us for the next centuries unless we reinvent what software is, which hopefully will happen with self programing systems based on genetic selection and lifelike. He destroyed creativity and progress in computer science and any sort of information technology. Look at how buggy and far behind and bloated the software Microsoft produces still is today. I call it trillions of lost economic growth because of that one monopoly that makes Google or Facebook look like boy scouts in comparison. And how do I know this? As a software developer I do.
      And now he plays the philantrop in his old age? WTF. He should have been the one in a heli crashing by a hill in 1981.
      Btw the Garmin suite uses DOS. How scary is that?

  16. A case for NetJets (or similar function). Professional pilots.

    1. Amen...and only those top flight training companies!

    2. You got to treat it like riding a bus. Netjets, dispatched by unionized dispatchers and flown by unionized pilots.

      If you can afford to fly private jets. Your life is worth much more than that extra $5000 an hour Netjets charges.

    3. I fly for a major airline and a good friend flies for Netjets. His training standards and sop's are identical to mine. One that comes to mind is the 500' call-out,speed,sink,"stable",if not stable a GA is mandatory. Netjets uses Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) just like the airlines so if you aren't stable on the approach and don't go-around the company knows it and you will get a call from the FOQA gate keeper to explain why you deviated from the sop's and continued an un-stable approach.

  17. Holy crap that is some serious hours those guys had including on type to be making a complete balls up like that. A case of getting a bit too blase perhaps? Only takes the one time and you and your pax are dead, or in this case probably should have been particularly if the a/c end up inverted.

    1. The report does not say which pilot was PIC during the earlier (April) flight that was used for comparison. Seems likely that the pilot who was PIC in the accident flight was not PIC for the April approach.

      Look at the configuration and speeds during the April approach and the use of speed brake after touchdown but no thrust reversers. No way to have so many differences if the same pilot flew as PIC both times.

    2. Lack of CRM the PNF should have said Yes on the go around question. The fact that he said No probably gave the lower hours PF (5800 hours wth?) a false sense of security and/or I need to fix this or I'm going to look like a tool. If the PNF had called the go around it would not have happened.

      - PNF (pilot not flying) tells PF (pilot flying) "we're really fast"
      - PF: "Do I need to go around?"
      - PNF: "No"

      Always easy in hindsight though huh.

    3. Absolutely correct. That "no" came from the Chief pilot and Director of Operations, so the pilot flying had the boss's approval to continue the landing, overriding his own doubts.

      Hindsight won't change the past, but this accident could become a case study presentation. The expectation of a simple 17 minute VFR hop from their base airport went wrong in an unusual way. A good example to show that deviation from nominal flight parameters and control can rapidly snowball.

  18. I read an article on "eating it up" like pacman... basically everytime someone flies and especially on a short VFR hop why not do a couple of touch'n goes and even some slow flight and if the passengers are ok a steep turn too for good measure... the plane is there the airport is there and a few extra minutes to practice some proficiency isn't just for a checkride but to incorporate in everyday flying, especially if the average GA or small plane pilot only does a few hours of flying a month and "professional" like these maybe 10-20.