Accident description
Last updated: 21 September 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 29 March 2001
Time:19:01
Type:Gulfstream Aerospace G-1159 Gulfstream III
Operator:Avjet Corp
Registration: N303GA
C/n / msn: 303
First flight: 1980
Total airframe hrs:7266
Cycles:3507
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey 511-8
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 18 / Occupants: 18
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:0,7 km (0.4 mls) N of Aspen Airport, CO (ASE) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:Aspen Airport, CO (ASE/KASE), United States of America
Narrative:
Crashed on finals to runway 15 when it hit a hill and then plunged across a 200 foot culvert between the hill and the airport before slamming into Shale Bluff, broke up and caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's operation of the airplane below the minimum descent altitude without an appropriate visual reference for the runway.
Contributing to the cause of the accident were the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) unclear wording of the March 27, 2001, Notice to Airmen regarding the nighttime restriction for the VOR/DME-C approach to the airport and the FAA's failure to communicate this restriction to the Aspen tower; the inability of the flight crew to adequately see the mountainous terrain because of the darkness and the weather conditions; and the pressure on the captain to land from the charter customer and because of the airplane's delayed departure and the airport's nighttime landing restriction. "

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» NTSB-AAB-02-03

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - USA
report status: Final
report number: NTSB AAB-02-03
report released:11-JUN-2002
duration of investigation:439 days (1 year 2.5 months)
download report: Gulfstream III, N303GA, Aspen, Colorado, March 29, 2001 (NTSB AAB-02-03)
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Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to Aspen Airport, CO as the crow flies is 1177 km (735 miles).

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