Narrative:A Gates Learjet 23, N866JS, was being operated on a flight from Richmond, VA (RIC) to Louisville, KY (SDF), continuing to Gainesville, FL (GNV), and returning to Richmond. The pilot, received the appropriate weather briefings and filed three instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plans. The aircraft departed Richmond at 21:28 with two pilots aboard. The flight to Louisville was uneventful, as was the subsequent flight to Gainesville with six passengers aboard. The aircraft departed Gainesville at 01:52 with only the two pilots aboard.
Upon arrival in the Richmond area, the flightcrew requested an ILS approach to runway 33. They were cleared for the approach and landing. Witnesses stated that the aircraft crossed the runway threshold "a bit high," started to rock, and rolled inverted as engine thrust increased. The aircraft crashed adjacent to the runway at 03:12 and burst into flame. Both pilots were killed.
PROBABLEáCAUSE:"The pilot's failure to maintain proper airspeed and aircraft attitude while transitioning from final approach through flare to touchdown. The low-speed/high angle-of attack flight condition precipitated wing rolloff, wingtip strikes, and ultimate loss of aircraft control.
The pilot's improper technique during roundout may have been due to fatigue, his limited knowledge, training, and experience regarding the flight characteristics of the Learjet aircraft, and distraction caused by concern over the intensity of the approach lighting."
Follow-up / safety actions
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 Gainesville-J R Alison Municipal Airport, FL to Richmond International Airport (Byrd Field), VA as the crow flies is 976 km (610 miles).