Factual Report: Maintenance flight fatal for pilot and mechanic

 - March 7, 2007, 6:09 AM

Cessna Citation 500, Houston, Nov. 5, 2005– The commercial pilot, owner of the airplane, and a passenger, a maintenance technician, were killed when control of Citation N505K was lost on takeoff from William P. Hobby Airport. The pilot had filed an instrument flight plan for the local maintenance test flight, in VFR conditions. Witnesses told NTSB investigators that the airplane had not been flown in more than nine months, and maintenance records confirmed that the last flight was on Jan. 31, 2005. At the time of the accident, the airplane had just undergone “heavy maintenance.” (Incomplete airplane and engine records were found at different locations, and other records might have been aboard the airplane and consumed by the post-crash fire.)

One eyewitness to the accident reported that the aircraft lifted off from Runway 22 and climbed to 200 or 300 feet. It appeared to have stalled during the climb, he said; it banked to the right, crashing onto Runway 12L/30R. It then tumbled for approximately 500 feet, coming to rest on a taxiway.

Another witness said he saw the aircraft “at 100 to 150 feet, roll hard to the right, become inverted and crash into the ground. A large fireball followed the impact.”