Accident Dassault Falcon 20C N283SA,
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Date:Tuesday 5 October 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Dassault Falcon 20C
Owner/operator:Sierra West Airlines
Registration: N283SA
MSN: 83
Year of manufacture:1967
Total airframe hrs:18798 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:1,3 km W of Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, GA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, TX (LBB/KLBB)
Destination airport:Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, GA (KHQU)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Sierra West Airlines flight PKW887, a Dassault Falcon 20CC, N283SA, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while on approach to Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU/KHQU), Thomson, Georgia. The captain and first officer were fatally injured.
At 05:03 local time, flight 887 requested information about the Notices to Airman (NOTAMs) for the instrument landing system (ILS) localizer runway 10 approach procedure at Thomson. Atlanta Center informed the flight crew of two NOTAMs; the first
pertained to the ILS runway 10 glidepath being unserviceable and the second applied to the localizer being unserviceable. The controller informed the flight crew that the localizer NOTAM was not in effect until later in the morning after their expected arrival, which was consistent with the published NOTAM.
About 05:26, the flight crew requested an ILS runway 10 approach, which was approved by ATL center. At 05:43, flight 887 had just crossed the CEDAR Initial Approach Fix (IAF) and requested to cancel their IFR clearance.
A surveillance video showed the airplane approaching runway 10 in a relatively constant descent and heading; however, about 25 seconds before the airplane’s landing lights disappeared, a momentary right turn, followed by a left turn and increased descent rate was observed. No explosion or glow of fire was observed when the landing lights disappeared about 05:44.

The final ADS-B data point (located 1.1 nautical miles from Rwy 10 threshold) showed a descent rate of -1,600 feet per minute at 700 ft pressure altitude (820 ft MSL) and a ground speed of 133 Kts. The Field elevation is 500.9' MSL. Lowest permitted decent on any approach to Rwy 10 is 400/1.

Probable cause: The flight crew’s continuation of an unstable dark night visual approach and the captain’s instruction to use air brakes during the approach contrary to airplane operating limitations, which resulted in a descent below the glide path, and a collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the captain’s poor crew resource management and failure to take over pilot flying responsibilities after the first officer repeatedly demonstrated deficiencies in flying the airplane, and the operator’s lack of safety management system and flight data monitoring program to proactively identify procedural non-compliance and unstable approaches.


09:50 UTC / 05:50 local time:
METAR KHQU 050950Z AUTO 00000KT 7SM HZ SCT012 SCT033 OVC090 20/ A3004 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N AND W

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA22FA004
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report

flight track


Revision history:


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