ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 501 Citation I/SP VH-LCL Lord Howe Island Airport, NSW (LDH)
ASN logo

Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 22 April 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic C501 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 501 Citation I/SP
Registration: VH-LCL
MSN: 501-0145
First flight: 1980
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Lord Howe Island Airport, NSW (LDH) (   Australia)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY), Australia
Destination airport:Lord Howe Island Airport, NSW (LDH/YLHI), Australia
The aircraft was being used for a pleasure flight from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, NSW, Australia for the owner and some friends.
The captain calculated the landing distances required for both runway 28 and 10 at Lord Howe Island, based on weather reports obtained at briefing, which indicated a strong northerly wind component. An updated report received some 30 minutes before descent confirmed the wind as 290 degrees at 7 knots. Approaching the island and becoming visual, the crew noted the windsock near the western end of the runway to be indicating a slight headwind component in the 10 direction and decided on a straight in approach to runway 10, to avoid an approaching squall/shower.
The aircraft touched down firmly a short distance beyond the threshold. Speed brakes were immediately extended and wheel braking applied. About four seconds later the captain called for the drag chute to be deployed. Although the co-pilot correctly activated the handle, it became obvious that the chute had not deployed as no increase in retardation occurred. When the captain realised that the aircraft could not be stopped on the runway remaining he attempted to turn the aircraft towards a clear grass area to the right. However, the aircraft was aquaplaning on the wet surface and did not respond to steering inputs for some distance. The aircraft left the bitumen tracking to the right. It collided with a gable marker, passed through a fence, continued down an embankment, across a road, through a second fence and came to rest approximately 90 metres from the runway end and 70 metres to the right of the extended centreline. The left main and nose gear legs were torn off.

Probable Cause:

Significant Factors:
The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the accident
1. Inadequate pre-flight planning and preparation by the flight crew. The runway distance required was in excess of the distance available on either runway.
2. Adverse runway and weather conditions - wet surface and downwind component.
3. Improper sealing of drag chute canister.
4. Inadequate maintenance of the drag chute system.
5. Improper operation of wheel brakes.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 141 days (5 months)
Accident number: 199001981
Download report: Final report

Runway excursion


photo of Cessna-501-Citation-I-SP-VH-LCL
accident date: 22-04-1990
type: Cessna 501 Citation I/SP
registration: VH-LCL

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 Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW to Lord Howe Island Airport, NSW as the crow flies is 783 km (490 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
languages: languages


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314