Sunday, May 23, 2021

Unknown or Undetermined : Cessna 560 Citation Encore, N832R; fatal accident occurred May 24, 2019 in Atlantic Ocean

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Jet Sales of Stuart LLC

Location: Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean
Accident Number: ERA19LA180
Date & Time: May 24, 2019, 17:55 Local 
Registration: N832R
Aircraft: Cessna 560 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning


The airline transport pilot departed on a repositioning flight in the jet airplane. The airplane was in level cruise flight at 39,000 ft mean sea level when the pilot became unresponsive to air traffic controllers. The airplane continued over 300 miles past the destination airport before it descended and impacted the Atlantic Ocean. Neither the pilot nor the airplane were recovered, and the reason for the airplane's impact with water could not be determined based on the available information.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Impact with water for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.


Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined

Factual Information

On May 24, 2019, about 1755 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 560, N832R, was destroyed when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean. The airline transport pilot was not found and presumed fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Jet Sales LLC as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight, which originated from St. Louis Regional Airport (ALN), Alton, Illinois, about 1430, and was destined for Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The owner of the airplane reported that he purchased the airplane 2 days before the accident. The airplane had recently undergone a progressive inspection, which was completed on May 22, 2019. The owner hired the accident pilot to fly the airplane to FXE to have avionics work completed. On the day of the accident, the owner tracked the flight using an online commercial service once it departed ALN Shortly after 1700, he received a call from the avionics shop at FXE telling him that the airplane did not arrive. He then reviewed the airplane's online flight track again and saw that it had overflown FXE at 39,000 ft mean sea level (FL390) and was heading toward the Atlantic Ocean.

According to air traffic control radar and radio communication information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot established communications with the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and reported that the airplane was level at FL390 and that the air was smooth. Thirteen minutes later, the controller instructed the pilot to contact the Jacksonville ARTCC, but the pilot was unresponsive. The controller made several attempts to contact the pilot on different radio frequencies, but no response was received. Controllers continued to monitor the flight via radar as it continued through Jacksonville and Miami ARTCC airspace without radio contact.

The US Air Force dispatched two aircraft to intercept the accident airplane. As they approached the accident airplane, they could only see a vapor/contrail emitting from the right engine. The accident airplane slowed to about 100 knots as the interceptor airplanes passed it, and the pilots could not see the cockpit windows or inside the accident airplane. The accident airplane appeared to lose total engine power, then descended and impacted the Atlantic Ocean about 310 statute miles east of FXE.

The US Coast Guard initiated a search after the accident, which was suspended on May 25, 2019. Neither the pilot nor the airplane were recovered.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on June 26, 2018. He reported 9,016 total hours of flight experience. He held numerous type ratings, including a type rating for the Cessna 560. The pilot's wife stated that her husband was not on any medications and that he had been sleeping well. The airplane was manufactured in 2001, and was powered by two Pratt and Whitney 535A engines. The airplane completed a phase 1-4 progressive inspection on May 22, 2019. The airframe and engine total time was 4,744.6 hours at the time of the inspection. According to the airplane's owner, all of the airplane's maintenance logs were onboard the airplane during the accident flight. Review of maintenance records from the most recent progressive inspection revealed two discrepancies related to the environmental system; the air cycle machine coalescer filter was changed and the main entrance door secondary seal was replaced. Maintenance records indicated that post-maintenance operational checks were satisfactory.

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Unknown or undetermined (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport 
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 26, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 9016 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N832R
Model/Series: 560 Encore
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2001 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Transport 
Serial Number: 560-0585
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 12
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 22, 2019 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 16630 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 0 Hrs
Engines: 2 Turbo fan
Airframe Total Time: 4744.6 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: 535A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 3045 Lbs thrust
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFLL,11 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 310 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 21:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 261°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Alton, IL (ALN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FXE) 
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 14:30 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 37.634193,-72.8609(est)


  1. These are the worst types of accidents in my opinion because we never learn what actually happened/failed.

  2. Eerily similar to the Payne Stewart crash.

    1. Also the TBM-700 back on 9/5/2014 that was headed from Rochester NY to Naples FL and was unresponsive. F-15s scrambled from Florida followed it all the way down the peninsula into Cuban airspace where they worked with Cuba to take over watching. An older couple if I remember correctly.


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