Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

Friday, November 12, 2021

Crash of Cessna Citation owned by Brook Haven Properties LLC

Speiser Krause is monitoring the investigation into the September 2, 2021 crash of a Cessna Citation XLS business jet (FAA Registration Number N560AR) that crashed during an attempted takeoff from Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut. Tragically, the passengers, a married couple, were two young physicians who left behind a one-year-old son and the wife was also pregnant at the time of the tragedy. The two-person flight crew were also killed, and four individuals sustained injuries when the aircraft crashed into a building, one of whom sustained serious injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report into the accident, a copy of which can be found here. This is the first of three reports that will be issued by the NTSB. The Factual Report will detail the factual findings of the investigation, which will then be followed by the Final Report (referred to as the Probable Cause Report) which will set forth what the NTSB believes to be the probable cause of the accident as well as any contributing factors. Usually the Factual Report and then the Final Report are issued 18-24 months after the crash.

Witnesses to the takeoff roll described the aircraft as traveling “slower” than previous takeoffs, and also that a puff of blue smoke was observed coming from the back of the aircraft as it was approximately two-thirds down the runway. Another witness observed the aircraft lift off the runway and then the nose pitched up, but the aircraft was not gaining altitude. The aircraft impacted a powerline pole which was located approximately 360 feet beyond the departure end of the runway.

Post-crash analysis revealed long skid marks on the runway which continued onto a grassy area shortly beyond the runway. The aircraft was equipped with both a flight data recorder (“FDR”) and cockpit voice recorder (“CVR”), both of which have been recovered by the NTSB. Although parking brake parameters were not recorded by the FDR, post-crash wreckage examination revealed that the parking brake, as well as the valve that controls the brake were both found in the “brake set” position. In addition, the design of the aircraft’s takeoff warning system did not incorporate the position of the parking brake valve.

It is also believed that the aircraft had recently undergone maintenance shortly before the crash. Maintenance issues, as well as the actions of the flight crew will undoubtedly be a significant focus of the accident investigation.

The partners at Speiser Krause have significant experience handling cases involving the make and model of the accident aircraft, including presently working on a crash in Georgia involving a Cessna business jet that was operated pursuant to an Aircraft Management Agreement.

We will provide further updates as they become available.

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