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Accident description
Last updated: 23 April 2017
Date:Tuesday 19 October 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic JS32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32EP
Operating for:AmericanConnection
Registration: N875JX
C/n / msn: 875
First flight: 1990
Total airframe hrs:21979
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-12UAR-704H
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 13
Total:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 15
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:2,2 km (1.4 mls) S of Kirksville Regional Airport, MO (IRK) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL/KSTL), United States of America
Destination airport:Kirksville Regional Airport, MO (IRK/KIRK), United States of America
American Connection flight 5966 departed Saint Louis (STL) at 18:42 on a flight to Kirksville (IRK). When 23 minutes from Kirksville, the weather report included a 4 mile visibility in mist with an overcast ceiling at 300 feet. Kirksville does not have an ILS, but the crew decided to continue. A few minutes later the flight was cleared to descend from FL120 to 8000 feet in preparation for a localizer DME approach to runway 36. At 19:20 the weather report now indicated that the visibility had decreased to 3 miles. After reaching 8000 feet ARTCC cleared the crew further down to 3000 feet after which the captain briefed the approach. After receiving some vectors for runway 36 the captain levelled off at 3100 feet. At 19:30 the flight was 11 miles from the final approach fix (FAF) and the crew cleared for the approach. Flaps and landing gear were selected down and descent was started, tracking the localizer. At 19:36 the flight descended through 1450 feet. The GPWS sounded: "five hundred." When reaching the minimum descent altitude the GPWS sounded: "minimums, minimums", and the captain stated: "I can see the ground there." The first officer could not see the ground. Descent was continued and a few seconds later the captain reported having the approach lights in sight. The decision was made to continue the descent. The airplane suddenly contacted trees at an elevation of 996 feet msl. The aircraft crashed and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the pilotsí failure to follow established procedures and properly conduct a non-precision instrument approach at night in IMC, including their descent below the MDA before required visual cues were available (which continued un-moderated until the airplane struck the trees) and their failure to adhere to the established division of duties between the flying and non-flying (monitoring) pilot.
Contributing to the accident were the pilotsí failure to make standard callouts and the current Federal Aviation Regulations that allow pilots to descend below the MDA into a region in which safe obstacle clearance is not assured based upon seeing only the airport approach lights. The pilotsí failure to establish and maintain a professional demeanor during the flight and their fatigue likely contributed to their degraded performance. "

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground


Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB AAR-06-01
report released:24 January 2006
duration of investigation: 1 year and 3 months
download report: Collision with Trees and Crash Short of Runway, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966, British Aerospace BAE-J3201, N875JX, Kir (NTSB AAR-06-01)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 7 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of BAe 3201 Jetstream 32EP N875JX
photo of BAe 3201 Jetstream 32EP N875JX
photo of British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32EP N875JX
Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)
photo of British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32EP N875JX
Flight Data Recorder (FDR)
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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 Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO to Kirksville Regional Airport, MO as the crow flies is 238 km (149 miles).

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