Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Raytheon Hawker 800XP, N99AP: Accident occurred February 21, 2022 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (KASE), Colorado

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entities: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Wing Aviation Group; Florida 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Honeywell; Phoenix, Arizona 

Roper Aviation LLC

Location: Aspen, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN22LA130
Date and Time: February 21, 2022, 11:33 Local 
Registration: N99AP
Injuries: 6 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Business

On February 21, 2022, at 1133 mountain daylight time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company Hawker 800XP airplane, N99AP, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Aspen, Colorado. The two pilots and four passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight.

According to the captain’s statement, before departure, the airplane and runway were clear of any contaminants, all pre-takeoff checks were normal, and the flaps were set to 15°. During the takeoff clearance for runway 33, the air traffic control tower reported the wind was from 160° at 16 knots, gusting to 25 knots, and the instantaneous wind was from 180° at 10 knots. The captain performed a static takeoff, and the first officer made all of the callouts; airspeed alive, 80 knots, V1, and rotate. At rotation speed, the captain applied back pressure on the yoke; however, the airplane would not become airborne. The captain reported, “the yoke did not have any air resistance or any pressure on it as we experience normally in Hawkers (the weight and pressure on the yoke felt the same as though the airplane was stationary on [the] ground).” After a few seconds and without any indication the airplane would take off, the captain aborted the takeoff.

The captain reduced the engines to idle, deployed the thrust reversers, and applied the brakes. The airplane subsequently departed the end of the runway into the snow. The captain secured the airplane and assisted in the evacuation of the passengers.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N99AP
Model/Series: HAWKER 800XP 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KASE,7720 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C /-9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3600 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots / 25 knots, 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.61 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Aspen, CO 
Destination: Austin, TX (AUS)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 4 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.232582,-106.87346 (est)

The pilot of a departing private jet that crashed off the end of the Aspen-Pitkin County airport runway last month told federal investigators the plane “would not become airborne” before he aborted the takeoff.

That’s according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, which also says the runway was clear February 21, pre-flight checks on the Hawker 800XP jet were normal and the wind was at 16 knots gusting to 25 knots.

“At rotation speed, the captain applied back pressure on the yoke; however the airplane would not become airborne,” according to the report. “The captain reported, ‘the yoke did not have any air resistance or any pressure on it as we experience normally in Hawkers (the weight and pressure on the yoke felt the same as though the airplane was stationary on [the] ground).’”

“Rotation speed” is the flight computer’s calculation of the speed necessary to lift off, said Dan Bartholomew, Aspen-Pitkin County airport director. The yoke is the control column or wheel used to pilot an aircraft.

“After a few seconds and without any indication the airplane would take off, the captain aborted the takeoff,” according to the NTSB report. “The captain reduced the engines, deployed the thrust reversers and applied the brakes. The airplane subsequently departed the end of the runway into the snow. The captain secured the airplane and assisted in the evacuation of the passengers.”

The four passengers and two pilots onboard the plane, which was traveling from Aspen to Austin, Texas, about 11:30 a.m., were not injured. The plane, however, sustained significant damage and required a crane to be extracted from the snow bank.

Bartholomew said the preliminary report doesn’t necessarily indicate mechanical failure and that other factors, such as a wind gust, might have played a role in the incident.

“That report doesn’t get into the cause,” he said. “It’s just the facts at this point. It’s hard to say (what caused the crash). Anything’s open right now.”

The NTSB’s final report on the incident can take months to be released.

The incident closed the Aspen-Pitkin County airport for nearly nine hours on Presidents Day, a busy travel day.


  1. Here's what I know. N99AP was departing 33, after approximately 75% of the pavement was past(as told to me by someone on the tarmac at the FBO prepping their jet), they rejected the takeoff. On ATC you can hear "PAPA ABORT" called.

    Plane came to rest intact, but was removed in 3 pieces (likely totaled as right wing was bent/broken.

    No injuries. (The only important part)

    Talk was making the rounds of deicing that didn't take place that should have.

    1. If RW33, it was a downwind takeoff. Gusting also.

      KASE 211853Z 16016G25KT 10SM FEW036 BKN060 01/M09 A2961

    2. The term "Tarmac" is common usage for any sort of "ramp" or "flight line" or "parking" area of an airport. Its nothing more than a material.

      Do you say Kleenex even though its an off-brand tissue of some type?

  2. How about a tailwind that degraded their acceleration enough that the better part of valor was not mushing into the air? I read a strange description of the tower wind report which had me thinking he was doing a favor to the crew, asked or unasked, giving them a legal tailwind.

    1. You can hear the tower clear 99AP for takeoff and advise winds after about a minute forty on the LiveAtc recording.

      "Wind one six zero at one six gust two five, instantaneous one eight zero at one zero"

  3. Commercial pilots? Frankly getting sick of hearing of "pro" pilots doing the stupidest mistakes. In KVDF some "pro" hired by an owner mingled his TBM 940... prop strike as the plane needs to be at least flaring 4-6 degrees given how close that expensive plane's propeller is close to the ground when the plane is horizontal, and he just mushed it down on the runway. Of coursd he won't talk to the NTSB. Some guy that came in to investigate said: "They never give us any explanation. Guys with tens of thousands of hours will always stay mute". Inacceptable.
    Here a downwind takeoff? Are you kidding me?
    If you spend millions on a plane as an owner... learn to fly the damn thing. Kobe shoulda learned too and he paid the ultimate price.
    Maybe a professional pilot is good... sometimes. But most of the time it's a person hired for a paycheck and they may "just work here" and not care at all or appreciate the expensive equipment they are responsible for.

    1. @Marcpilot - Before heading yet again into multiple pilot bashing posts that shuts down another comment thread, you need to become familiar with published KASE departure procedures.

      Making a RW 15 departure is N/A due to terrain. Departing RW33 downwind within the allowed limits for an aircraft is a regular occurrence at KASE.

      Step back and consider your posting content and tone. You don't know the airport in question, you don't know these pilots and certainly have no knowledge to support your claim that they don't care.

      You slipped up recently in commenting on the Trevor Jacob Taylorcraft posting when you made no reference to having owned a Taylorcraft. You clearly had forgotten that you told an apparently fake story about owning one in your 2019 comments about N181AG:

      "My Taylorcraft costed me 15k to buy and I run it on mogas at $10 an hour ($3 per gal at 3 gal per hour!)."

      Link to your 2019 "My Taylorcraft" comment:

    2. Marcpilot is not to be taken seriously. He's wrong on many accounts. I've been in and out of KASE many time. Difficult operating environment, plus there are rocks in some of those clouds.

    3. Thank you for calling out the "arm chair/Monday quarterbacks". Instead of calling pilots dumb or saying they don't care, we need to learn that we are all human and we need to learn from our mistakes. As this is an on-going investigation, we will not have a final report for several months.

      I have been researching this since about 2 hours after the accident, and here are the verified facts:

      Aircraft: Hawker 800XP N99AP ("krypto 99") Owned by Roper Aviation LLC
      Operator: NXT Jet callsign "krypto" under 135 regulations
      Takeoff: shortly after 1830Z, Rwy 33, KASE
      Winds at Take-Off: 160@16 gusts 25, instantaneous 180@10
      Hawker 800XP AFM Section 2 Page 4: Maximum tailwind component for takeoff and landing is 10 kts.
      Event: several seconds into the take-off roll, pilots made an abort call (heard on ATC recording), and attempted to stop the aircraft. The aircraft eventually came to rest off the runway, in the snow, on the airport property. The 2 pilots and 4 passengers were not injured in the accident. The aircraft was disabled and had to be removed using a crane.

      Aviation professional opinion:
      - Presidents' day 2022 was one of the busiest travel days this year, especially for charter operators and ski destinations.
      - KASE is designated as a mountainous airport, and as such, operators typically have limitations for it. These likely include: Day only operations, Landing only allowed on Runway 15, Takeoff only allowed on Runway 33, etc.
      - Facts point to an attempted takeoff above aircraft tailwind limitations by up to 15 kts.
      - Tailwinds are hazardous to aircraft during takeoff and landing, due to the increased forward speed necessary to overcome the tailwind component. In this scenario the aircraft would have had to achieve a ground roll up to 25 kts faster than rotation speed in order to takeoff. Although KASE has an 8000 ft runway which seems long, it's elevation at 7800 ft is a problem. Takeoff requirements show that a Hawker 800XP generally would be pushing 7000 ft of runway required for an airport that high, and that's before calculating wind, weight, and temperature. Starting at a theoretical -25 kts airspeed would add a significant increase to the takeoff runway length required.
      -It is possible that several factors played a role in this event, including; the amount of traffic taking off from RWY 33 at KASE (everyone else is doing it), incoming weather (got to get out of here), passenger travel (got to get the passenger to their destination), flight schedule (more flights to do), and more.
      -An earlier post mentions what could be a late abort, and deicing or lack of deicing. The late abort idea could be a factor, but as for the deicing, I wouldn't read to far into that. Icing does not affect an aircraft on ground roll like it does in the air.

    4. "Researching" by looking up public info misses several factors in the bigger picture. Performance figures are at the max allowable takeoff weight.

      There were reportedly 4 pax and two pilots aboard. Reported destination was Texas, not a 1500 mile return to Teterboro, meaning a partial fuel load was all that was needed.

      There will be a lot of words written about whether the instantaneous 10 knot tailwind report properly represented actual conditions or was part of "keeping metal moving", but there is no reason to believe that the bird was loaded anywhere near max takeoff weight.

      The possibility of a performance shortfall or discrepant condition such as an engine alarm indication, incorrect trim setting or dragging brake pack isn't ruled out just because of the tailwind.

    5. Interesting viewpoint: "Icing does not affect an aircraft on ground roll like it does in the air."

      The whole point of ground roll is to take off. Ice contaminated aero surfaces require higher airspeed than normal during ground roll in order to develop sufficient lift to take off. What Aviation professional doesn't know that?

    6. What the captain describes is basically a failure of the controls... convenient explanation I guess.

      The CVR needs at least to show the crew briefed the takeoff and also the conditions for a rejected takeoff. Generally if you don't reach the halfway point on the runway with 70% of the speed needed for V1 then you immediately abort it.

      Of course this can vary. But this can at least show they were on their A game, and had a preset plan to reject the takeoff if something amiss was present.

      Establishing a set of conditions to rotate also allows leeway for a mechanical failure to be identified and an abort to take place without overruning the runways too.

      Here everything points to no such briefing taking place and by the time they attempted to rotate that they were way past the halfway point and lower than 70% V1. The cameras on the runway will certainly help.

      Prior examples of crew failing to perform the most basic checks were in MA:

    7. This IS a 135 aircraft. Use of the NXT call-sign indicates the flight was probably 135. Shame on the flight crew/training/decision making.

    8. "Icing does not affect an aircraft on ground roll like it does in the air"??? What kind of "aviation professional" makes this absurd comment?
      Sorry,but you are wrong. Up until that comment, I agree with you.

    9. "Icing does not affect an aircraft on ground roll like it does in the air."
      You are way off track here. I've flown an aircraft in which training beat into our heads the fact that an aircraft with ice adhering in particles as little as a grain of sand per a square inch can reduce lift enough in which rotation lift will not be possible at planned V speeds.

  4. "Aspen Airport is located in a high mountain valley with mountainous terrain from 12500-14000 feet msl in near proximity to the airport. Instrument departures demand takeoff from runway 33 due to surrounding terrain."

    1. Then how dumb can you be taking off IFR with a tailwind that solid? Just do VFR and get the IFR in the air.
      Ib the wind is that strong the opposite way you can actually climb decently.
      It's all about not being a robot but thinking things through.

    2. @Marcpilot - If you departed RW15 at KASE in your Taylorcraft, how would it do climbing out over the terrain while operating on Mogas at that altitude? Asking for a friend who lives in Colorado.

      My friend says his Taylorcraft fuel burn rate is 4 gallons per hour. He is eager to learn what you did to get your Taylorcraft to cruise on 3 gallons per hour.

      He had expected that you would explain that in your several comments on the Trevor Jacob crash, but you didn't mention Taylorcraft burn rates or owning a Tcraft in those comments.

      He also wanted to know how much fuel you burned flying the Tcraft to Catalina Island.

      Can you help him? Your ownership experience with your Taylorcraft could help lots of pilots if you will share the details of those flights and the mods/maintenance required.

    3. You can always circle above the airport. Keep in mind if the tailwind is strong enough then easy to takeoff VFR into the wind and climb VFR.
      All I am describing is common sense. And yes a BD-12 has a 4 gal burn rate on ethanol free mogas. An A65 engine is rugged enough to even take regular gasoline but the water loving ethanol will always be an issue.

    4. A long time ago I circled, made right traffic & landed on 33 because the reported tailwind component for runway 15 far exceeded our limitations. Following the river, a dogleg approach to runway 33. I’ll never forget it.

      Although everything worked out, it was still kinda scary

    5. Two things… marcpilot it’s kinda obvious you’ve never flown into KASE in anything so your comments are so far out of place they don’t belong in this forum. Treehouseforrent… as a former instructor in the hawker I’ve heard people say that they’ve done the circle to land there before. My next question after that was always “Have you done it in a Hawker?” and their answer is always “Well… no”. I’m not saying it can’t be done and it probably has been done. It would be fairly easy in a light twin or a single I would imagine. In addition there are a lot of pilots based there that might not think it’s such a big deal. We’ve tried it several times in the sim and it doesn’t work. To keep the turn radius down and stay clear of the mountains it takes to you stick shaker speeds. Again… I’m not saying it’s impossible but it wouldn’t be something I would ever want to try.

  5. Let me address a couple items: ""Researching" by looking up public info misses several factors in the bigger picture. Performance figures are at the max allowable takeoff weight."
    Yes, when I say "researching", I mean looking at info in all the databases, manuals, and programs I have access to, as a pilot and as a safety professional. I would like to see what numbers you came up with with your assumptions of how much fuel they may or may not have had, along with bags, people, ski equipment, and any other items.
    My point was that in a very general sense, without knowing that information the aircraft would have been getting near 7000 ft of runway required because of the elevation of the airport.
    "There will be a lot of words written about whether the instantaneous 10 knot tailwind report properly represented actual conditions or was part of "keeping metal moving".
    I'm not completely understanding the point here, but yes a 10 knot tailwind 30 degrees left of center would have likely been a contributing factor. If it was only that tailwind component, then I would understand your reason for highlighting it. I think the bigger issue is the 16 gusting to 25 knot tailwind 10 degrees left of center.
    "Interesting viewpoint: "Icing does not affect an aircraft on ground roll like it does in the air."
    At the time of my post, there was no indication that the aircraft attempted to rotate. I understand your point. That said, I retract that statement as it does not come across clearly. My point was to steer the discussion away from someone's third party story, that they took off with contaminated wings. This, although not impossible, is very unlikely.

    1. Some will be reluctant to discuss "keeping metal moving" in this context. A chart trace of recorded wind speed and fluctuations occurring up to the moment in time that the 10 knot instantaneous report was given may reveal that the 10 knot value was very brief in duration.

      An instantaneous wind report utilized to satisfy the AFM maximum tailwind component for takeoff would be unwise when that instantaneous value is only a fleeting condition under higher prevailing winds, but it would keep the metal airplanes moving. The potential for a mishap if that was done purposely by pilots at ASE is self explanatory.

      Fuel weight required for the intended 700 mile flight to Austin including reserve wouldn't need to be even half of the 10,000 lb capacity. The 1500 mile flight that brought N99XP from Teterboro ensured adequate depletion to facilitate refuel back up to the value calculated by the pilots before departing ASE.

      Choose weights with belongings that suit you for 4 pax/2 pilots and if 7000' balanced field length is indicated in 800XP AFM performance data for 4000 lbs fuel on board and a static start takeoff roll in ASE's conditions, congratulations are in order.

  6. as to icing, if frost degrades performance, icing surely does ...
    "Frost on your wings and other surfaces should be removed before attempting to take off according to 91.527(a). Why?
    Frost can significantly degrade the amount of lift your wings can produce. Small ice crystals can cause a separation of airflow, reducing your aircraft's lift by 30% or more, and at the same time increase drag by 40% or more."

  7. V1 is V1. Rotate is rotate.
    Speed is speed. Tail wind, head wind, no wind, the jet will fly unless something is wrong.