Narrative:The Beechcraft took off from Mobile at 17:05 for the last leg of the New Orleans-Mobile-Birmingham flight. Weather was bad around the Birmingham airport as flight 508 approached. Three aircraft had diverted to another airport, a Piper Aerostar had landed prior to the accident, a Gates LearJet after the accident. The weather reported to the crew at 18:05 was 1100 feet overcast, 2,5 miles visibility, thunderstorm and rainshower wind 340/12kts.
An upset occurred as the flight entered an area of thunderstorm activity. The aircraft rolled left and pitched up as the aircraft approached level flight with approx. 30deg of left bank. The aircraft then entered a stall (or a prestall buffet) and started to descend. The descent couldn't be arrested and the aircraft crashed into a residential area, destroying two homes and two automobiles.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The decision of the captain to initiate and continue an instrument approach into clearly identified thunderstorm activity, thunderstorm activity, resulting in a loss of control of the airplane from which the flight crew was unable to recover and subsequent collision with obstacles and the terrain."
Loss of control
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-18 through -20
» Scramble Vol.13, nr.05
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
N7217L was bought by L'Express in June 1991
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 Mobile Municipal Airport, AL to Birmingham Airport, AL as the crow flies is 346 km (217 miles).