Final Report: Poor judgment preceded Citation crash

 - July 9, 2008, 8:09 AM

Cessna 560 Citation Encore, Cresco, Iowa, July 19, 2006–The NTSB attributed the crash of Citation N636SE to inadequate decision-making and poor crew resource management (CRM). The crew failed to obtain critical information–including runway direction and length–about Cresco’s Ellen Church Field Airport. Contributing factors were the crew’s failure to understand that the runway length was insufficient and the inadequate CRM training for pilots at Part 135 operators. The attempted landing on the less-than-3,000-foot runway, with a 10-knot tailwind, resulted in a 1,700-foot overrun, and two fatalities (pilot and copilot) and two serious injuries.

The Jackson Air Charter Citation chief pilot (13,312 hours, 833 in type) was flying the airplane as a Part 91 flight from the right seat. A new hire in the left seat (11,607 hours, 557 in type) had not completed the company’s Part 135 training.

As the airplane was descending for the approach to Rochester International Airport (RST), in Rochester, Minn., Minneapolis Center told the crew they would have to deviate 100 miles north or 80 miles south to avoid severe weather. They elected to “pick [their] way through” it and continue the planned descent. RST Approach subsequently told the crew there was “weather,” including wind gusts, along the final approach course, and there were severe thunderstorms and wind gusts in the area. As weather conditions worsened, the crew spotted the Cresco airport, canceled IFR and decided to set down there.