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Last updated: 11 July 2020
Status:Final
Date:Friday 13 April 1973
Time:16:35
Type:Silhouette image of generic SBR1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American Rockwell Sabreliner 60
Operator:Continental Air Lines
Registration: N743R
C/n / msn: 306-11
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:2372
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 Turbo Wasp
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:Montrose County Airport, CO (MTJ) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 1755 m (5758 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Montrose County Airport, CO (MTJ/KMTJ), United States of America
Destination airport:Denver-Stapleton International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN), United States of America
Narrative:
A Sabreliner 60, N743R, crashed shortly after takeoff from Montrose Airport, Colorado, USA. The two pilots, the only persons on board, were killed and the aircraft was destroyed by impact and fire.
The aircraft was on a routine flight from Montrose to Denver, Colorado.
Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft climb straight ahead after takeoff to about 1,000 feet above ground level, where it started first a shallow right turn and then a left turn, which steepened as the nose dropped. The aircraft crashed in a 55° left-bank and 10° nosedown attitude. Examination of the wreckage disclosed that the left engine thrust reverser was in the deployed position.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The continued operation of the left engine at climb power after an unwanted in-flight deployment of the left engine thrust reverser, which resulted in a deterioration of aircraft performance."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 208 days (7 months)
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-73-19
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Engine reverse issue
Loss of control

Follow-up / safety actions

FAA issued 1 Airworthiness Directive
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 Montrose County Airport, CO to Denver-Stapleton International Airport, CO as the crow flies is 294 km (184 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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