National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Final Report
Location: BOCA RATON, FL
Accident Number: MIA00FA190A
Date & Time: 06/23/2000, 1141 EDT
Aircraft: Learjet 55
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 91: General Aviation – Positioning
The Learjet departed from an uncontrolled airport about 2 minutes before the accident on a on a VFR climb and was not talking to ATC. The Extra EA-300S departed VFR from a controlled airport and requested and received a frequency change from the control tower 2 minutes after departure. Review of radar data revealed that the Extra climbed to 2,500 feet on a heading of 346 degrees before descending to 2,400 at 1141:25. The Learjet was observed on radar in a right crosswind departure passing through 700 feet on a heading of 242 degrees at 1141:02. At 1141:16, the Learjet was at 1,400 feet heading 269. At 1141:30, the Extra is observed on radar at 2,400 feet, in a right turn heading 360 degrees. The Learjet is observed on radar at 1141:28 in a climbing left turn passing through 2,300 feet. The last radar return on both aircraft was at 1141:30.
Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of the pilot’s of both airplanes to maintain a visual lookout (while climbing and maneuvering) resulting in an in-flight collision and subsequent collision with residences and terrain.
Occurrence #1: MIDAIR COLLISION Phase of Operation: CLIMB Findings 1. (C) VISUAL LOOKOUT – NOT MAINTAINED – FLIGHTCREW 2. (C) VISUAL LOOKOUT – NOT MAINTAINED – PILOT OF OTHER AIRCRAFT ———- Occurrence #2: MIDAIR COLLISION Phase of Operation: DESCENT – UNCONTROLLED ———- Occurrence #3: IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN/WATER Phase of Operation: DESCENT – UNCONTROLLED Findings 3. TERRAIN CONDITION – GROUND 4. OBJECT – RESIDENCE
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On June 23, 2000, at about 1141 eastern daylight time, a Learjet 55, N220JC, registered to Universal Jet Aviation Inc., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 repositioning flight, and a Extra Flugzeugbau GMBH, EA-300S, N300XS, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced an in-flight collision about 2.5 nautical miles southwest of the Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Boca Raton, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An IFR flight plan had been filed for N220JC, but it had not been activated with air traffic control. No flight plan was filed for N300XS. Both airplanes were destroyed. The airline transport rated pilot-in-command (PIC), commercial pilot co-pilot (CP), and commercial pilot observer/passenger in N220JC was fatally injured. The commercial pilot in N300XS was fatally injured. N220JC departed BCT about 2 minutes before the accident, and N300XS departed Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP) Pompano Beach, Florida, about 4 minutes before the accident.
A witness located at the BCT airport stated the Learjet departed BCT at about 1135. The pilot made a right crosswind, followed by a 45-degree turn departing the traffic pattern. The witness observed a small airplane about 3 to 4 miles southwest of the airport at about 1,000 feet. All of a sudden he observed the small airplane start what appeared to be an evasive maneuver with a descending turn, and the Learjet collided with the smaller airplane, followed by an explosion.
Another witness stated he was at camp located south of Glades Road and north of Palmetto Park when he heard the sound of an airplane engine. He looked up to identify the plane since his father is always asking him what type of airplane is this, and observed a jet. He observed a propeller plane that appeared to be on the same approach path as the jet, but it appeared that they were at different altitudes, and he thought they would not hit each other. The jet was flying towards the southwest and the propeller plane was flying towards the northeast, but then he observed the left wing of the propeller plane collide with the left wing of the jet, and the propeller plane’s wing started to break up. Flames shot out the back of the jet, there was a loud bang, and the jet turned into a giant fireball.
An additional witness located at the Boca West Country Club stated he observed a jet that appeared to have just departed the BCT airport. The airplane was in a climb at about 1,000 feet. He then observed a smaller airplane flying towards the northeast towards the Learjet. The smaller airplane appeared to collide with the left rear tail section of the Learjet. There was a little smoke right after the collision and the Learjet split in two pieces. The smaller airplane fell to the ground in pieces. The front section of the Learjet went down nose first, and fire was coming out of the rear of the separated fuselage, followed by an explosion. He also observed a parachute in the sky, and lost sight of the Learjet when it disappeared from view below the tree line.
Review of radio communications between PMP tower and N300XS revealed N300XS departed PMP at 1537:40 (1137:40), and requested and received a frequency change at 1540:00. There was no other recorded conversation with N300XS. Review of N220JC cockpit voice recorder reveals that N220JC departed BCT at 1139:41. The end of the recording is at 1141:37. (For additional information see Pompano Beach ATCT transcript and NTSB Group Chairman Cockpit Voice Recorder Factual Report, an attachment to this report.)
Review of radar data revealed N220JC was off the ground at BCT at 1540:53. The airplane was observed to start a right crosswind departure at 1541:02, passing through 700 feet on a heading of 242 degrees. At 1541:16, N220JC was at 1,400 feet heading 269 degrees with a ground speed of 191 knots. N300XS was observed on radar at 1538:25 off of PMP at 1,000 feet on a heading of 045 degrees. At 1540:43, N300XS was at 2,400 feet heading 341 with a ground speed of 169 knots. At 1541:11, N300XS is at 2,500 feet heading 346 degrees with a ground speed of 171 knots. N300XS descends to 2,400 feet at 1541:25 on a heading of 342 degrees with a ground speed of 172 knots. At 1541:30, N300XS is observed on radar turning to the right on a heading of 360 degrees with a ground speed of 173 knots. N220JC is observed in a climbing left turn passing through 2,300 feet on a heading of 269 degrees with a 180-knot ground speed. The last radar return on both aircraft was at 1541:30.
The PIC of N220JC was hired by Universal Jet Aviation on June 3, 1999, as a contract pilot, and was promoted to the Director of Training and Chief Pilot on May 26, 2000. He held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings and limitations for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane issued on March 23, 2000. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate with ratings and limitations for airplane single engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane on June 26, 1998. He held a first-class medical certificate issued on March 30, 2000, with no restrictions.
The CP of N220JC was hired by Universal Jet Aviation on November 19, 1999, as an IRS 1099 contract pilot. He held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings and limitations for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane issued on April 26, 1999. He was issued a second-class medical certificate on March 31, 2000, with no limitations.
The observer/passenger was hired by Universal Jet Aviation on April 21, 2000, as an IRS 1099 contract pilot, and was not performing any crewmember functions at the time of the accident. He held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings and limitations for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane issued on January 24, 2000. He held a second-class medical certificate issued on January 7, 2000, with no restrictions.
The pilot of N300XS held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings and limitations for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane issued on June 29, 1975. In addition he held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single engine issued on March 12, 2000. He held a second-class medical certificate issued on March 8, 2000, with no restrictions. The pilot’s logbook was not located. According to friends, the pilot kept his logbook in the airplane.
N220JC is a Learjet model 55, serial No. 050, manufactured in 1982. The airplane is owned and operated by Universal Jet Aviation Inc., Boca Raton, Florida. The airplane was equipped with two Garrett TFE-731-3AR-2B engines. Available maintenance records indicate the last maintenance inspection was conducted on January 20, 2000. The airplane has flown 287 hours since the last inspection and has accumulated 8,557 total airframe hours. The maintenance records revealed compliance with all manufacture’s Service Bulletins and FAA Airworthiness Directives.
N300XS is an Extra-Flugzeugbau GMBH model EA-300S, serial No. 05, manufactured in 1992. The airplane is owned and was operated by the deceased pilot. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming AE10-540-L1B5 engine. A friend of the deceased pilot who is a qualified aircraft and power plant mechanic stated he performed the last annual inspection on N300XS on March 6, 2000. He further stated the aircraft logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident. The aircraft logbooks were not located. METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION
The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, Florida. The 1123 surface weather observation was: 25,000 scattered, visibility 10 miles, temperature 92 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 68 degrees Fahrenheit, wind variable at 5 knots, and altimeter 30.09 inHg. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.