Event Details

Title:Landed short, Avjet Corporation, Gulfstream III, N303GA, Aspen, Colorado, March 29, 2001
Micro summary:This Gulfstream III crashed short of the runway.
Event Time:2001-03-29 at 1901:57 MST
File Name:2001-03-29-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB/AAB-02/03
Site of event:Final, ASE RWY 15
Latitude/Longitude:N39 14.315' W10652.637'
Departure:Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USA
Destination:Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Aspen, Colorado
Airplane Type(s):Gulstream III
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Avjet Corporation of Burbank, California
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On March 29, 2001, about 1901:57 mountain standard time,1 a Gulfstream III, N303GA, owned by Airbourne Charter, Inc., and operated by Avjet Corporation of Burbank, California, crashed while on final approach to runway 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Aspen, Colorado. The charter flight had departed Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) about 1711 with 2 pilots, 1 flight attendant, and 15 passengers. The airplane crashed into sloping terrain about 2,400 feet short of the runway threshold. All of the passengers and crewmembers were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. The flight was being operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew's operation of the airplane below the minimum descent altitude without an appropriate visual reference for the runway.

Contributing to the cause of the accident were the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) unclear wording of the March 27, 2001, Notice to Airmen regarding the nighttime restriction for the VOR/DME-C approach to the airport and the FAA's failure to communicate this restriction to the Aspen tower; the inability of the flight crew to adequately see the mountainous terrain because of the darkness and the weather conditions; and the pressure on the captain to land from the charter customer and because of the airplane's delayed departure and the airport's nighttime landing restriction.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Non-Precision Approach
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Crashed short, National Airlines, Inc., B-727-235, N47MNA, Escambia Bay, Pensacola, Florida, May 8, 1978
Landed short, Eastern Air Lines, Inc., Douglas DC-9-31, N8984E, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 11, 1974
Landed short, United Air Lines, Inc., Boeing 737, N9031U, Chicago-Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois, December 8, 1972
Controlled Flight into Terrain, MarkAir, Inc. Boeing 737-2X6C, N670MA, Unalakleet, Alaska, June 2, 1990


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