Below Freezing and Snowing at Time of Phenom 300 Fatal Crash

 - January 26, 2023, 11:28 AM
(Photo: Pixabay)

According to the NTSB’s preliminary report released today, it was below freezing and snow was falling when an Embraer Phenom 300 crashed while taking off from Utah's Provo Municipal Airport at 11:35 a.m. on January 2. The pilot was killed and the three passengers were injured. The light twinjet was on a planned Part 91 personal flight to Chino, California.

A witness said he watched the airplane be towed from a hangar and then fueled. He estimated that the pilot started the engines about 11:10 or 11:15 a.m., “around the same time light snow began to fall.” When he started fueling, the fueler stated the pilot mentioned that “they were trying to get out before the weather.” The fueler added that while he was fueling, he remembered seeing unfrozen water droplets on the wings. At the time of the accident, the temperature/dewpoint were matched at -1 degrees C and snowfall was light to medium intensity.

The fueler said that as the airplane was on its takeoff roll on Runway 13, it appeared to “pull up steep,” roll to the left, and the left wing hit the ground. Additional witnesses at the airport saw the airplane take off, climb to about 20 to 30 feet agl, then both wings wobbled “back and forth.” The airplane banked right, and then “hard left” as the left wing struck the ground, where it scraped along for about 100 feet before the remainder of the airframe hit the ground. There was no post-crash fire.