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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17MA183
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Teterboro, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2019
Aircraft: LEARJET 35A, registration: N452DA
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The NTSB's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/AccidentReports.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-19/02.

On May 15, 2017, about 1529 eastern daylight time, a Learjet 35A, N452DA, departed controlled flight while on a circling approach to runway 1 at Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, and impacted a commercial building and parking lot. The pilot-in-command and the second-in-command died; no one on the ground was injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to A&C Big Sky Aviation, LLC, and was operated by Trans-Pacific Air Charter, LLC, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about 1504 and was destined for TEB.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot-in-command's (PIC) attempt to salvage an unstabilized visual approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the PIC's decision to allow an unapproved second-in-command to act as pilot flying, the PIC's inadequate and incomplete preflight planning, and the flight crew's lack of an approach briefing. Also contributing to the accident were Trans-Pacific Jets' lack of safety programs that would have enabled the company to identify and correct patterns of poor performance and procedural noncompliance and the Federal Aviation Administration's ineffective Safety Assurance System procedures, which failed to identify these company oversight deficiencies.