Serious incident Cessna 560XL Citation Excel N498AB,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 314556
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Date:Monday 13 December 2010
Time:07:57 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic C56X model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 560XL Citation Excel
Owner/operator:Executive Jet Management Inc
Registration: N498AB
MSN: 560-5116
Year of manufacture:2000
Total airframe hrs:4994 hours
Engine model:P&W Canada PW545A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Birmingham, Alabama -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB/KTEB)
Destination airport:Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, AL (BHM/KBHM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During approach and landing, the pilots noted that the airplane had stiff rudder operation. A postflight examination of the airplane found ice in its tailcone stinger, through which the rudder and elevator control cables run. Further investigation discovered that other Cessna 560XL airplanes had encountered the same problem. The design of the airplane was such that water could enter the tailcone, collect there, and freeze around the rudder cables during operations in subfreezing temperatures. The manufacturer had issued a service letter (SL) in 2005 to add a drain hole in the tailcone stinger for in-service airplanes and added a drain hole to production airplanes; this incident airplane had a drain hole in its tailcone that was consistent with the SL. Therefore, the drain hole specified in the SL was not sufficient to correct the problem. In addition, the investigation discovered that some production airplanes had drain holes that were smaller than the size specified in the SL. The manufacturer subsequently issued an alert service letter (ASL) in January 2011 to inspect the existing drain holes to ensure they were the right size, seal an existing drain hole, and add another drain hole in the aft canted bulkhead; however, in March 2011, an airplane modified in accordance with the ASL experienced stuck rudder controls; ice and water were found in its tailcone stinger. The manufacturer subsequently issued a mandatory service bulletin (SB) in October 2011 that specified additional modifications intended to reduce the amount of moisture that can enter the tailcone stinger and to improve the drainage. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) district office that oversees the production certification of the Cessna 560XL and the manufacturer's issuance of associated SLs and SBs did not detect the improper-sized holes on some production airplanes. The manufacturer subsequently implemented a specific inspection to verify the drain hole installation on production airplanes, and the FAA has followed up.

Probable Cause: The manufacturer's inadequate initial design and inadequate subsequent modifications of the tailcone, which allowed moisture to collect and freeze around rudder cables during operations in subfreezing temperatures, resulting in a loss of rudder authority during landing.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN11IA111
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
4 September 2021 N827JS Fly Exclusive 0 near Salt Lake City International Airport, UT (SLC) sub


Revision history:

02-Jun-2023 18:36 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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