Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Dassault Falcon 20E-5, N283SA: Fatal accident occurred October 05, 2021 near Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (KHQU), Georgia

National Transportation Safety Board accident number: ERA22FA004

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a pasture. 

Career Aviation Co

Date: 05-OCT-21
Time: 08:44:00Z
Regis#: N283SA
Aircraft Make: DASSAULT
Aircraft Model: FAN JET FALCON
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew 2
Activity: CARGO
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Missing: No

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Two families are mourning. Pilots Claude Duschesne and Raymond Bachman were killed. Bachman’s relative, Rosanna Marlowe, tells NewsChannel 6 the pilots flew together often.  Marlowe says Bachman’s “passion for airplanes started when he was four-years-old.” He earned his pilot’s license when he was 16. Bachman leaves behind a wife of 54 years, two children and one grandson, who he enjoyed building and flying remote-controlled airplanes with. Marlowe says “he will be remembered as a hard-working, conscientious, loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend.”


  1. Old freight dog jet. Last return on Flightaware was N33.5310 W-82.5509 at 800' MSL at just 136kts with a whopping 1572fpm descent rate. Something happened and happened quick. The previous return just a minute and three seconds earlier they were at a 1324fps descent rate at 160kts at 2451' MSL. Pretty much lined up with RWY 10 for Thomsom-McDuffie.

    Pilots already identified with more crash location info in this local story link:


    RIP and prayers for the families of the two pilots.

    1. a whopping 1572fpm descent rate -Huh ???

    2. “fpm” not “fps” and 1572 is not “whopping” in even some of the smallest aircraft. It is, however, of important note at 800’ AGL as well as the trend showing the rate of descent increasing.

      RIP to the crew and condolences to those affected.

    3. Over 1000 fpm under 1000agl is a go around right now stuff.

    4. Max recommended VS at 800 agl would be 800 fps... so double that might constitute "whopping". Especially night/IMC.

    5. "“fpm” not “fps” and 1572 is not “whopping” in even some of the smallest aircraft."

      1) That's why I mentioned 800'. You think a 1500' plus decent rate is good in ANY aircraft at 800' AGL at ANY time, let alone in a dimly lit airport at night breaking out of IMC conditions?

      2) I'm human and trigger brain fingered the second reference to feet per second. That's why my first sentence says "1572fpm".

      "a whopping 1572fpm descent rate -Huh ???"

      Did you miss the altitude they were at?

      All that said, this airport is 500' MSL so the jet was only at 300' AGL at that insane decent rate for their position/altitude (I assumed it was much closer to sea level). Makes it even more dramatic of a decent rate. God I hope you guys don't fly based on reading comprehension.

    6. Some of you need to comprehend and do the math before you start typing your thoughts.

  2. Cargo plane, two pilots lost.

    KHQU Weather at 05:53EDT:
    Wind SE3/Vis 10.00/Wx Overcast/Sky BKN065 OVC085/71F 68F/90%

    News Story:

  3. RIP...my first thought is fuel exhaustion/mismanagement.

    1. Or just plain exhaustion. Assuming it was the same crew that landed in El Paso at 2am on 10/2....then they are airborne at 10pm on 10/4 and the accident happened at 4am 10/5 cst.

      Those are not easy hours to work. Especially, if you're over 70 years old. It's going to be interesting to read what the NTSB learns about how rested they were.

      I wonder if they were doing that rolling rest thing or the company actually had defined rest periods for it's crew?

  4. ILS was out of service per NOTAM. Hand flying the approach, still at 2000' MSL at 3 NM from field while approach plate shows starting down from 2000' at 4.5 NM out. Rural area, not much ground lighting.

    Possible undershoot CFIT while aligning to PAPI after late entrance from above the glideslope.

    !MCN 09/752 HQU NAV ILS RWY 10 GP U/S 2109271104-2110112000EST

    Issuing Airport: (HQU) Thomson-Mcduffie County
    NOTAM Number: 09/752
    Effective Time Frame
    Beginning: Monday, September 27, 2021 1104 (UTC)
    Ending: Monday, October 11, 2021 2000EST (UTC)
    ILS Status
    Runway: 10
    ILS Type: Instrument Landing System
    Component: Glidepath
    Instrument landing status: Out of Service

  5. Why did they continue to land at this uncontrolled poorly lit small town airport with a dead ILS when the better lit and much larger (with 7x24 ATC) Augusta Regional was available just ~25 miles further to the SE? Especially in those stormy Southeastern weather conditions (which are still ongoing as of this posting). Lots of questions here for the NTSB to answer including what rest this senior aged crew had. Being in the late night freight ops business is hard hours that even wears down the 20-somethig whippersnappers after a while.

    1. May have something to do with Amazon's newly opened distribution center at I-20 and US-221, just 13 unimpeded interstate miles from KHQU. Amazon also has distribution centers in El Paso and Lubbock.

      NTSB will document crew rest and the ILS NOTAM but is unlikely to comment about corporate pressures on freight haulers. If you are a freight dog who won't go into the nearby airport where the road hauler is expecting to meet you because ILS is out of service, the assignment probably will be given to someone who will.


  6. Duty hours for 135 are pretty stringent:


    Basically covers all the angles so the only way they could have exceeded that is if the flight was a Part 91 repositioning flight. Otherwise even cargo is transport of goods and/or people from A to B for compensation which falls under 135.

    1. Elapsed time from leaving the field at El Paso to the crash in Georgia was only six hours, including the two hours on the ground in Lubbock. ADS-B history suggests N283SA's previous flight operation finished two days earlier, also a night flight, same circadian rhythm.

      The FAR forbids scheduling/performing "flight time during the 24 consecutive hours preceding the scheduled completion of any flight segment without a scheduled rest period during that 24 hours".

      These pilots could have completed the circuit and returned direct to El Paso after a safe landing in Georgia without breaking the 135 crew rest rule.

    2. To all those making assumptions. Don’t do that. You all sound like a bunch of a-holes. Two professional pilots are gone and somehow you think you have whatever it is to determine why or what mistake they they made. That crew probably Had more time in a golf cart riding to the aircraft than your total time. Don’t be a dick. Let them RIP and thank them for their contribution to aviation.

    3. My experience with the FAA's "stringent" duty time requirements are that they don't mean squat. Zero. I flew 135 in jets carrying passengers. Violations were actually written into and printed in the company handbook. Pilots who complained to the feds were soon looking for another job. The local FSDO reacted angrily to anonymous complaints to D.C. and OKC. Continued pressure resulted in token enforcement for a short period, then a return to the old ways, with the offensive wording removed from print in the handbook, but fully understood by all. Absolutely disgusting. The FAA, that is. The operator was just trying to maximize profit, and was allowed to do so. Wink, wink,...
      This particular east coast FSDO was a short walk away, the relationship was a little too comfortable.
      I continue to feel nauseated and angry when dealing with them, can you tell?
      This experience may be unique to this FSDO, but uneven, capricious enforcement, or lack of it, appears to be the norm for the FAA. Notice the lethargy related to the early days of the 737 max problems, followed by the possibly over reactive CYA tactics once the public took notice?

  7. recent flightaware records (back to 7 July) note this as the first flight of N283SA to HQU. Earlier Tues, a Fairchild Dornier SA-227DC Metro (twin-turboprop) (SW4) landed 04:06 EDT.

    1. Might be explained by Amazon's newest distribution center 13 miles from KHQU that opened recently:


    2. To all those making assumptions. Don’t do that. You all sound like a bunch of a-holes. 2
      Professional pilots are gone and somehow you think you have whatever it is to determine why or what mistake they they made. That crew probably
      Had more time in a golf cart riding to the aircraft
      than your total time. Don’t be a dick. Let them RIP and thank them for their contribution to aviation.

    3. Looking at possible contributing factors is normal discussion activity after accidents.

      The mystery is not just the specific cause of this aircraft intercepting the ground short of the runway. There is also the question of whether freight hauling industry realities of needing to achieve on-time arrival at the optimal destination influenced pilot ADM.

    4. I'm sure these guys also played "What if" or "What could have happened" all the time. Most of the pilots I know do it. Whether you buy into the assumptions is up to you but good pilots are always looking for answers to these crashes.

  8. Cleared for the ILS.....Glideslope was OTS

  9. A couple of reports additional, No fire, No Fuel?

  10. My only experience with a Lear is two round trips from Chicago area to Denver. Second flight landed both ways in Iowa. Freight dog operation. I was in the back behind the pilots but stood up so I could see except for takeoff and landing. The second flight was night VFR and all four landings were VERY high rate of descent. 250 knots and high rate of descent 15 miles from the runway. In each case the airplane was on speed and on glidepath at 200 feet AGL. That kind of operation is not unusual, in fact I think is is quite common in lower end of freight dog operations. One must be extremely precise in such operations, the penalty for a small error is death. The Falcon pilots were significantly behind the airplane but I have seen MUCH worse with a satisfactory outcome.

    1. Yeah well the last return of this aircraft was only at 300 AGL and still showing over 1500fpm. That was a terrain collision waiting to happen in a Falcon 20. And I don't know what makes night time freighter operations any more dramatic like they are flying in a war zone because I've never heard of it before.