Aeromed Citation Crash Focuses on Wiring

 - April 22, 2008, 12:25 PM

Recently released documents from the NTSB’s investigation into the crash of a Cessna Citation II (N550BP) that plunged into Lake Michigan on June 4 last year, killing all six people aboard, reveal that a control-wheel electrical cable had not been replaced, as per a 1992 Service Bulletin from the OEM. The NTSB documents also list seven instances of reported failure in other aircraft due to the faulty cable, but the factual report doesn’t make any conclusions about the cause of the crash of N550BP. Included in the documents are transcripts of the cockpit voice recorder, which reveal the pilots’ struggle to control the airplane after takeoff from Milwaukee. The first indication that something is wrong occurs 24 seconds after takeoff, when PIC William Serra says, “Why am I fighting the controls here?” Seconds later Serra said the airplane “wants to turn hard left.” Less than a minute later he says, “Dennis, she’s rolling on me. Help me, help me.” The pilots managed to contact the tower to declare an emergency just before the twinjet crashed.