One Killed in Challenger 300 In-flight Upset

 - March 6, 2023, 12:07 PM
The NTSB is looking into a "reported trim issue" that occurred before Challenger 300 N300ER experienced an in-flight upset that killed a passenger. (Photo: Twitter)

“Investigators are now looking at a reported trim issue that occurred prior to the in-flight upset” of a Bombardier Challenger 300 Friday afternoon over Northampton, Massachusetts, that killed one passenger, according to the NTSB. The twinjet, registered as N300ER and using callsign XSR300, took off from Dillant-Hopkins Airport (KEEN) in Keene, New Hampshire, and was headed to Leesburg (Virginia) Executive Airport (KJYO) with two flight crew and three passengers on board, the FAA said.

Flight tracking data from ADSBExchange indicates that the aircraft took off from KEEN at 3:37 p.m. and climbed to about 24,000 feet before the in-flight upset occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m., with vertical speed peaking at almost 6,000 fpm before dropping to nearly -2,000 fpm some 15 seconds later. Following the mishap, the jet diverted to Bradley International Airport (KBDL) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, landing at 4 p.m. The upset resulted in fatal injuries to a passenger, the NTSB said.

The FAA issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on February 7—and effective March 14—for Challenger 300/350 pitch trim switches made after 2019, though N300ER was manufactured in 2013. Transport Canada issued a similar AD in February 2022.

“Investigators will continue to learn more after they are able to analyze information from the flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder, and other sources of information like weather data,” the NTSB said in a statement. An NTSB preliminary report is expected to be available in two to three weeks.

“Bombardier is deeply saddened by this tragic event. We extend our sincerest sympathies to all those affected by this accident,” the company said in a statement. “Bombardier will fully support and provide assistance to all authorities as needed. Bombardier cannot comment on the potential cause of this accident until the investigation is complete.

“Operations of the Challenger 300 fleet, and all other Bombardier business jets, continue unaffected. We stand behind our aircraft, which are designed to be robust and reliable in accordance with Transport Canada and all international airworthiness standards. The Bombardier Air Safety Investigation Office is in contact with the [NTSB} and has dispatched an Auxiliary Air Safety Investigator to the aircraft.”