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Last updated: 18 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 9 May 1970
Time:21:28
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ23 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 23
Operator:Executive Jet Aviation
Registration: N434EJ
C/n / msn: 23-046
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:3530
Engines: 2 General Electric CJ610-1
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:4,4 km (2.8 mls) SW of Pellston-Emmet County Airport, MI (PLN) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW/KDTW), United States of America
Destination airport:Pellston-Emmet County Airport, MI (PLN/KPLN), United States of America
Narrative:
Crashed into trees and caught fire short of the runway; illusions produced by the lack of visual cues during a circling approach over unlighted terrain at night to a runway not equipped with approach lights or other visual approach aids.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Illusions produced by the lack of visual cues during a circling approach over unlighted terrain at night to a runway not equipped with approach lights or other visual approach aids . These illusions, which made the pilot think that he was higher than his true position, were made more acceptable to him because of a strong possibility of an erroneously high indication on his altimeter."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI to Pellston-Emmet County Airport, MI as the crow flies is 388 km (243 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Learjet 23

  • 104 built
  • 13th loss
  • 8th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident
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