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Last updated: 17 October 2019
Date:Friday 19 January 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ25 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 25D
Registration: N137GL
C/n / msn: 25-237
First flight: 1978
Total airframe hrs:299
Engines: 2 General Electric CJ610-8A
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Detroit-Metropolitan, MI (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:South Bend Regional, IN (SBN/KSBN), United States of America
Destination airport:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW/KDTW), United States of America
Rolled violently, lost control and crashed while on approach to runway 09 . Loss of control was caused by icing and/or preceding DC-9 wake vortex and/or a delayed application of engine thrust during an attempted go-around.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's loss of control. The loss of control may have been caused by wake turbulence of a departing aircraft, by a premature stall caused by an accumulation of wing ice, by a delayed application of engine thrust during an attempted go-around, or by any combination of these factors."


Loss of control


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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 South Bend Regional, IN to Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI as the crow flies is 250 km (156 miles).

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Learjet 25

  • 373 built
  • 16th loss
  • 11th fatal accident
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
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