Crew Blamed for Montrose Challenger 600 Crash

 - November 21, 2006, 11:37 AM

The NTSB Tuesday issued its determination regarding the stall and fatal crash of a Challenger 600 during takeoff from Montrose, Colo., on Nov, 28, 2004. According to the Safety Board, the crash was caused by ice and snow on the wings that the pilots had failed to detect and remove. A factor was the crew’s lack of experience in winter weather conditions, the NTSB said. The chartered jet, operated by Air Castle Corp., had flown from Van Nuys, Calif., and was on the ground at Montrose Regional Airport for about 45 minutes in freezing precipitation. The crew did not have the Challenger deiced before takeoff. The Safety Board said the contamination of the wing was “evident” on the parked airplane and a surviving passenger–NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol–reported slush sliding from the jet before takeoff. The airplane did not climb but rolled violently left and right several times before it hit the ground, said the NTSB. The captain, the flight attendant and one passenger–the teenage son of Ebersol–were killed. Dick Ebersol, another son and the copilot were seriously injured.