For the second time in one week, passengers and crew evacuated safely from a Cessna Citation following a runway excursion and before fire consumed their aircraft. The latest accident occurred yesterday and involved a 2003 Citation Excel that overran the runway departing Oroville Municipal Airport (OVE) in California.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told AIN that the twinjet was bound for Portland, Oregon, when the flight crew aborted takeoff shortly before noon PDT. Online flight tracking information shows the Excel, registered as N91GY, was being operated under Part 135 for Delta Private Jets.
The eight passengers and two crewmembers onboard were able to exit the aircraft before flames consumed the airframe. It also sparked a wildfire along the airport's northern boundary and briefly closed an adjacent highway. It is yet unknown what led the crew to abort the takeoff.
Shortly after the accident, a Notam was issued halting availability of jet-A at OVE until September 6. Photos from the scene showed the aircraft intact before catching fire, with the starboard thrust reverser partially deployed.
On August 15, a Citation Latitude (C680A) overran the runway while landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport near Bristol, Tennessee. Five persons onboard, including retired Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife and infant daughter, escaped without serious injuries.