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Last updated: 14 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Monday 23 June 2014
Time:14:38
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 35A
Operator:GFD Gesellschaft für Flugzieldarstellung
Registration: D-CGFI
C/n / msn: 35A-612
First flight: 1985
Total airframe hrs:8259
Engines: 2 Garrett TFE731-2-2B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Olsberg-Elpe (   Germany)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hohn Air Base (ETNH), Germany
Destination airport:Hohn Air Base (ETNH), Germany
Narrative:
A Learjet 35A was destroyed in an accident following a mid-air collision with a Luftwaffe (German Air Force) Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon jet (30+91) over Elpe, Germany. Both crew members sustained fatal injuries.
The Learjet took off from Hohn Air Base, Germany at 13:04 to carry out a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) military intercept and identification exercise with the German Air Force.
At 14:20 a formation of two Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon jets took off from Nörvenich Air Base. The jets were given radar guidance to intercept the Learjet as part of the exercise. At 14:26 the formation reported the target in sight. The formation was cleared to climb to the Learjet's altitude. At the same time the Learjet crew were informed that the Eurofighters had visual contact.
One of the Eurofighters, serial 30+91, then closed in on the Learjet while the other one kept a distance of 2 Nautical Miles. At 14:29 the first Eurofighter pilot began transmitting information about the Learjet (registration mark, colours) to the military controller.
At the same time the Learjet crew noticed the Eurofighter on their left hand side.
At 14:34 the military controller contacted the Learjet crew: "...for your information the QRA will perform an obey-check on your left side and after three minutes you should obey."
After four minutes the controller told the Learjet crew: "... for your information, you overwhelmed the hijacker and now you want to obey the orders of the QRA and call them on the guard."
The Eurofighter pilot wiggled the wings and initiated a left hand turn. The Learjet crew disconnected the autopilot and followed the Eurofigher in the left hand turn.
The Learjet was flying with a 46° left bank angle and the Eurofighter at a 26° left bank angle when a collision occurred. The Learjet entered an uncontrolled descent and impacted terrain. The pilot of the Eurofighter issued a Mayday call: "Mayday, mayday, mayday...crashed with Learjet probably [...] left hand turn direct inbound Nörvenich declaring emergency." The second Eurofighter closed in to observe the damage. He radioed that he was not able to check out the Learjet crash site: "..Currently doing a structural damage check [...] severely damaged on the right hand side he needs my assistance right now."
A safe landing was carried out at Nörvenich at 14:58.

Probable Cause:

Causes
The causes of the flight accident were:
Immediate Causes:
- During positioning for the intervention the collision risk due to unexpected manoeuvres of the intercepted airplane was not sufficiently taken into consideration.
- The Learjet crew did not take into account the risks due to possible limitations of the field of vision and the distraction by using the computer when deciding about the task distribution.
Due to insufficient situational awareness during the intervention, the Learjet crew continued the turn with an excessive bank angle despite the loss of visual contact with the Eurofighter flying at the inside of the turn.

Systemic Causes:
- The operator had not specified in detail how the crew should distribute their tasks during Renegade exercises.
- Neither the operator commissioned to conduct the aerial target demonstration nor the Air Force had sufficiently described the Renegade training nor had a commensurate risk analysis been done.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Accident number: BFU 1X002-14
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» BFU


Follow-up / safety actions

BFU issued 6 Safety Recommendations

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photo of Learjet 35A D-CGFI
photo of Learjet 35A D-CGFI
photo of Learjet 35A D-CGFI
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photo of Learjet 35A D-CGFI
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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.
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