Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3, N528DV: Accident occurred September 20, 2022 at Tri-Cities Airport (KPSC), Pasco, Franklin County, Washington

National Transportation Safety Board - Accident Number: WPR22LA353 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aircraft gear collapsed on landing and caught on fire. 

Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute Inc PC

Date: 20-SEP-22
Time: 14:15:00Z
Regis#: N528DV
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 525B
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Flight Crew: 1 No injures
Pax: 9 No injuries
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Nine passengers and a pilot survived a plane crash and rapidly spreading fire Tuesday on the main runway at the Tri-Cities Airport.

The privately-owned jet was carrying surgical technicians and a registered nurse for the Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute when the landing gear failed just after 7 a.m. They were flying in from Chehalis.

The Cessna 525B CitationJet CJ3 skided on its belly down the airport’s primary runway, sparking a fire, said Ben Shearer, public information officer for the Pasco Fire Department.

“This is this first time in the 30 years that (the fire station has) been out here that we’ve had this type of incident,” he said.

Firefighters had no warning the plane was having problems, so they weren’t able to position units around the airport like they normally do when they’re alerted to landing gear troubles, Shearer said. 

The aircraft came to an abrupt stop on the runway and the pilot and surgical team were able to escape ahead of the swiftly moving fire that erupted. 

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze, but once a plane catches fire it burns fast, Shearer said.

Crash investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were called in to investigate what happened.

A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report on what occurred usually takes about two to three weeks, board spokesman Peter Knudson told the Herald.

The board’s investigation is trying to initially determine whether a systemic failure caused the crash, so it can be addressed immediately.


The aircraft is one of three operated by the Pacific Cataract Laser Institute, said Kris Gamboa, the site manager for the Kennewick location. 

It was carrying staff from the company’s headquarters in Chehalis to the Tri-Cities.

“No bruises. No bumps. Just a lot of nerves,” Gamboa said. “I think everybody was safe by the grace of God. It was a good day. We’re thankful that everybody was safe.”

They had planned to drop off staff to work at the company’s Kennewick location before picking up a doctor and flying to Lewiston.

The company has 17 sites across the Northwest, and share staff among them. 

They perform surgeries for cataracts, glaucoma, corneal transplants and laser vision corrections. The company canceled 30 planned surgeries in Kennewick and 24 in Lewiston on Tuesday and brought the staff back to Chehalis by van.


The fire department has two firefighters on duty 24-hours a day at a fire station next to the airport so they are able to arrive quickly, Shearer said. 

The last time the Tri-Cities Airport saw this level of a crash was 33 years ago when a commercial plane crashed just short of the airport killing everyone onboard. 

Pasco firefighters go through regular practice preparing for these kinds of emergencies, Shearer said. That includes practicing with different types of planes. 

Tuesday’s crash came a day before a Federal Aviation Administration-mandated drill to practice responding to a plane crash.

The Pasco airport terminal remained open Tuesday morning and the airfield was back open by 10 a.m.

Two commercial flights had minor delays because of the incident.


  1. Oops. Run the checklist.
    A GUMP would have helped.

    1. I initially thought the same thing. With a closer look at the ADS-B data it is possible he did extend the gear (maybe late), but otherwise it was an unstabilized approach causing the gear malfunction.

      So while we need to wait for the NTSB report to know if the gear was in fact extended; even if it was, most likely it malfunctioned due to pilot error.

  2. Sure…the gear ‘collapsed’… “My story ‘n gonna stick to it”

  3. "We had three green -- I dunno what happened? All 3 gear collapsed at the same time..."

  4. The nose wheel gear looks tucked away nicely

  5. Braking action must've been poor -- they slid all the way to the end of the runway.

  6. Well...the elevators ought to be worth something...

  7. Single pilot flown, nine PAX onboard meaning one was in the right seat up front (and the short straw drawer on the rear belted toilet seat). I would bet a cool grand there was distraction of conversation in the cockpit upon approach.

    1. Pure speculation (but probably exactly what happened :)

    2. I was thinking extremely over max landing weight, over max zero fuel weight as no other indications (at this point) that the pilot was having an issue with landing gear. Not sure one can load 9 adults, medical gear, and enough fuel to make the quick turns in and out picking up additional staff. A miracle no fatalities or injuries. Back to the vans.

    3. Fast and long getting down on RW 3L, which is 7,707' length.
      Track/ground speeds:

    4. Wow... over the numbers with a groundspeed of 140. Accelerated a bit, too, on final, but appeared to be on glidepath (ie: was ~1,000 AGL at 3 miles out).

      The CJ3 has a typical Vref of about 100 KIAS. Do the math.

      This landing was doomed before he crossed the fence. What a senseless destruction of a very nice aircraft!

    5. "I was thinking extremely over max landing weight, over max zero fuel weight"

      Well if it was a structural gear failure we'd be seeing at least some of the destroyed gear trailed behind the aircraft on the runway, and my guess the nose wheel would still be seen deployed. This aircraft is ass flat on the ground with no gear parts behind it or under it remaining. That says it all.

    6. The entire series of Citations are very robust. I have a few hours in all of the King Airs and a few hours in the early Citations. I only have some 35 years of experience in the two types, but I can tell you that it is very difficult to overload any of the Citations, with the exception of the early CJ's; and Cessna fixed that.
      The gear didn't collapse.
      To me, it seems that the single pilot was simply overworked.
      My heart goes out to him because I can picture the environment, and I have nearly done the same thing a few times.

    7. Accident day ground speeds versus a previous PSC landing:

      Accident day N528DV landing at PSC:

      July 28 example N528DV landing at PSC:

    8. I doubt it was over max landing weight. I've flown CJ3s with 9 passengers and landed well within 12,750. One thing to consider. Every knot over vref a CJ3 will float 100' down the runway. With enough fuel to make it from CLS-PSC-LWS and 9 passengers, TO weight would be around 12,700, below landing weight already. Landing VREF would be around 104 KIAS, so the pilot was almost 40 knots over VREF over the threshold. Given that, the plane would float at least 4,000' down the runway with flaps at landing and gear out. If the flaps were approach and the gear no out, it's going to float longer. Of course all speculation, but unstabilized to say the least. Waiting for all the fact is needed to determine what really happened.

    9. The extremely overweight comment is ridiculous. I only have about 1,500 hours in Citations, but I can tell you that this airplane was well under max landing weight, max zero fuel weight, or any other "maxes," that this clown can conjure.
      Putting the gear down would have made for a better landing.

  8. I haven't flown a Citation. Can any Citation pilot tell us how the gear warning horn works and what sound does it make?

    1. In the CJ3, the gear horn activates when:

      Airspeed below 130 kts, either throttle is below 85% N2, and gear is not down and locked.


      Flaps extend beyond T/O/APPR (15 degrees) and gear is not down and locked.

    2. So a 140 knot approach with flaps 15 means he didn't get the horn until the flare, and then was like "what the heck is that annoying sound?" before hearing another annoying sound of metal scraping on asphalt and then was like "Oh, [expletive] !" ?

    3. He had a float going for a while before settling onto the pavement.

      Gear ups reveal a techno-mystery of the present day. No STC would be required to install stick-on prox sensor under the belly for a wireless warning. A wireless-linked tilt sensor stick-on for one gear leg and an alert sounder in the cockpit completes the set. Sensing wouldn't need to care what the speed, throttle or flaps. Manage the device settings and check battery states using a smartphone.

      Doorbell camera makers could knock this out. They already mastered the art of minimal battery consumption and smart wakeup required for stick-on device operation. Proximity determination using image analysis would eliminate having to use power-hungry sonic or microwave distance measurement.

      There wouldn't be millions of units sold like the homeowner market, but not a difficult product to accomplish in the present state of capabilities. Pilots could even set up a Gofundme to give free units to Mooney owners - goodness knows from the steady reports seen here on KR those pilots need this.

    4. I love your logic, but the Feds would eat your lunch. Also, I hope that any decent mechanic would take your sensor and use it for the doghouse out back. Still, I enjoy the creativity of some of these answers. The airplane floated, then landed sans gear. It will take the NTSB about one minute to come up with the "probable cause." These are not stupid people; however, they are bureaucrats and will spend about 18 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell us what one picture shows.

      The feds will destroy this man's career for this mistake.

    5. Feds should have no more concern over a Sharper Image double-back tape mounted wireless ground proximity sensor than they do for all those GoPro cameras the YT channels have mounted externally.

    6. That must be a reference to the piece of crap who faked his emergency over the mountains. Gotta love the fact that this clown made hundreds of thousands. I am only jealous because of my age..

  9. By reasonable turbojet piloting standards, this approach requires a go-around as “unstable” — speed not within +20/-0 kts of reference speed. Dependence on a gear horn — an “Oh, sh!t” last resort warning device — is reckless. Not just a “mistake”, this pilot likely has poor cockpit discipline.

    1. Well, cockpit discipline sometimes goes out the door with a planeload of rich assholes talking to you. No excuse, but stuff happens in the real world.

  10. This accident is a reminder that gear warning based on speed/throttle/flaps is an archaic design. Alerting at detection of ground surface proximity while descending through user-selected AGL at 500 feet or so is what's needed.

    Compare to sensor tech the automotive industry has rolled out in automatic braking systems. Time to discard misguided attitudes that only the big name avionic radar altimeter and terrain warning system makers have the ability to produce a solution.

    Your teenager will drive you to the airport to board the Company C525 in your family's consumer grade auto-brake equipped vehicle, but there's still no innovative gear warning upgrade available to sense ground proximity when the expensive corporate aircraft crosses the airport boundary. Ridiculous!

    1. Well said.

      I would think a CJ3 would have GPWS with a “TOO LOW - GEAR” mode, no?

    2. As stated in a previous post, without artificial intelligence in the airplane, it won't happen. As pilots, we must take responsibility for our stupidities. I understand the pilot lying about the gear collapse. Not enough time to fabricate a better story than "I should have lowered the gear."

    3. Nah, no artificial intelligence would be required to prox sense and bluetooth link to a warning device. The holdback for marketing viability is the limited number of units that can be sold. Need to consult with the commenter that envisioned an off label usage for the device on a doghouse to get things started.

  11. Most of you assume he forgot to lower his gear. If he didn’t follow his checklist and did forget, his career is over. If he didn’t he’ll have to fight for several years to prove something else happened. Either way his career is done. My Dad used to say—- when talking about something without knowing the facts …That if we just assume something happened it will likely make an Ass out of U and Me.

    It’s always best to wait for the facts, and to run your check list even if it is the 10,000th time.

    1. You're right: it's best to wait for the facts...

      ...but we all know he forgot to lower the gear.

    2. ^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^^^^ You just won the interweb today :-)

  12. The 140kt’s on short final is very fast for the CJ. The aircraft won’t slow down normally without the drag from the gear. GPWS should have given a warning though if it was not down. Passenger’s riding in the right seat can definitely be a distraction. I think I read somewhere that some of the Dr’s are also pilots. That could be a faor if one was in the right seat. Add in possible fatigue from the early morning departure. Looking at flite aware they seem to have long days. Early morning departure, sitting around all day, then returning late in the afternoon. Who knows. Lots of things can go wrong. Hate to see this happen to anyone. It’s always a fine line from a successful flight to a mishap.

  13. Maybe a pilot should get one gear-up landing forgiveness for every life they risk other than their own. If that were so, this pilot has “burned” nine lives.

    Lying about it? Unforgivable. Probably slapped the lever down while unbuckling, too. As a mechanic, I say it’s pretty low to put my work under the microscope because you won’t own yours.

  14. The speed shown on ADSb exchange is ground speed. The slight acceleration on final is simply a decreasing headwind. His airspeed was pretty constant but over the 130kt gear warning trigger speed. He was probably already sliding on his belly when a pleasant nice lady voice announced “Landing Gear.”

  15. Does anyone remember the Continental DC-9 that landed no gear OR flaps? That’s with two pilots. Go figure.

  16. The Continental 1943 gear-up landing in 1996 highlights the human ability to ignore aural warnings (GPWS, landing gear horn) as well as unexpected flight characteristics (inability to slow airplane) when focused on task completion (landing the airplane). The DC-9 touched down (gear-up) at 193 kts (Vref 132). The CVR leaves the reader slack-jawed.

    FO: I don’t have any flaps
    FO: Want to take it around?
    CPT: No, that’s alright. Keep your speed up here.
    FO: I can’t slow it down here now.
    CPT: You’re alright.
    FO: We’re just smokin’ in here.
    FO: Want to land it?
    CPT: Yeah.
    FO: Your airplane. Captain’s airplane.
    FO: You want it?
    CPT: Yeah.
    [sound of impact]