NTSB Identification: LAX05FA015.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 24, 2004 in San Diego, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2006
Aircraft: Learjet 35A, registration: N30DK
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board adopted the final report of this accident investigation, including the analysis and probable cause, on May 23, 2006. The Board's full report is available on : http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2006/AAB0605.pdf

On October 24, 2004, about 0025 Pacific daylight time, a Learjet 35A twin-turbofan airplane, N30DK, registered to and operated by Med Flight Air Ambulance, Inc. (MFAA), collided into mountainous terrain shortly after takeoff from Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM), near San Diego, California. The captain, the copilot, and the three medical crewmembers received fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The repositioning flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan filed. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight, which was the fourth and final leg of a trip that originated the previous day, departed SDM at 0023.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The failure of the flight crew to maintain terrain clearance during a VFR departure, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain, and the air traffic controller's issuance of a clearance that transferred the responsibility for terrain clearance from the flight crew to the controller, failure to provide terrain clearance instructions to the flight crew, and failure to advise the flight crew of the MSAW alerts. Contributing to the accident was the pilots' fatigue, which likely contributed to their degraded decision-making.

Full narrative available

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