Preliminary Report: Engine noises precede Bravo crash

 - July 6, 2007, 5:22 AM

Cessna Citation S550 Bravo, Dillon, Mont., May 3, 2007–The ATP-rated owner-pilot and a passenger were killed when the Citation Bravo crashed on a circling instrument approach at Dillon in VMC. A witness reported hearing a loud engine noise followed by a “plop.” He said the engine noise was loud, diminished, then got loud again. He spotted a large cloud of black smoke and a fire outside the airport boundary fence.

Another witness heard a whistling noise. He saw the airplane below the cloud base (there was a 3,900-foot overcast) turning to the right, about 75 to 80 degrees nose low. It made six or seven turns, with the radius of the turn getting tighter as it descended. The initial point of contact was about a quarter of a mile from the edge of the runway. The Bravo is registered to Hamilton Ranches of Itasca, Ill.