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Accident Report Detail

Crash during Emergency Landing Phoenix Air Learjet 35A, N521PA

Executive Summary

On December 14, 1994, about 1146:23 pacific standard time, a Phoenix Air Group, Inc. (Phoenix Air) Learjet 35A, registration N521PA, crashed in Fresno, California. Operating under the call sign Dart 21, the flightcrew had declared an emergency inbound to Fresno Air Terminal due to engine fire indications. They flew the airplane toward a right base for their requested runway, but the airplane continued past the airport. The flightcrew was heard on Fresno tower frequency attempting to diagnose the emergency conditions and control the airplane until it crashed, with landing gear down, on an avenue in Fresno. Both pilots were fatally injured. Twenty-one persons on the ground were injured, and 12 apartment units in 2 buildings were destroyed or substantially damaged by impact and fire.

Safety issues in this report focused on maintenance, inspection and quality assurance. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the Federal Aviation Administration, Phoenix Air, and the Department of Defense.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable causes of this accident were: 1) improperly installed electrical wiring for special mission operations that led to an in-flight fii that caused airplane systems and structural damage and subsequent airplane control difficulties; 2) improper maintenance and inspection procedures followed by the operator; and, 3) inadequate oversight and approval of the maintenance and inspection practice by the operator in the installation of the special mission systems.

Accident Location: Fresno , CA    
Accident Date: 12/14/1994
Accident ID: DCA95MA007

Date Adopted: 8/1/1995
NTSB Number: AAR-95-04
NTIS Number: PB95-910404

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