Birdstrike/Ingestion Eyed in Citation Crash

AINalerts » March 6, 2008
March 6, 2008, 12:07 PM

A 1975 Cessna Citation I (N113SH) that crashed Tuesday afternoon while taking off from Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport is reported to have encountered a flock of birds before the accident. The three passengers and two pilots believed to be aboard died when the twinjet “crashed under unknown circumstances” four miles from the airport. An NTSB spokesman told AIN that lead investigator Tim LeBaron has talked to one witness who saw birds in the area of the accident airplane, but birdstrike or ingestion has not yet been “ruled in or out.” However, witness Greg Horton was more definitive when he told local TV station KTWV that the Citation “flew right through a flock of birds.” He reported that he heard a bird being sucked through an engine and then saw a dead bird floating in the lake. Horton added that the pilot tried “to recover and just took a nosedive” before the airplane hit the ground. The NTSB has recovered the jet’s cockpit voice recorder and sent it to Washington, D.C., for further analysis. Investigators are still on site gathering evidence, and the NTSB expects to release a preliminary report next week.

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