Crash of a Cessna 550 Citation II in Fargo

Date & Time: Nov 30, 2018 at 1353 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N941JM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Williston - Fargo
MSN:
550-0146
YOM:
1980
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On November 30, 2018, about 1353 central standard time, a Cessna 550, N941JM, departed controlled flight while on approach at the Hector International Airport (FAR), Fargo, North Dakota, and impacted the terrain to the right of the runway. The pilot and one passenger were not injured, and 9 passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to the Slice of the 406 LLC and operated by Dirt Dynamics, Inc. under the provisions of the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and the flight was operating on an instrument flight plan. The flight departed from the Sloulin Field International Airport (ISN), Williston, North Dakota, about 1250 with FAR as the destination. The pilot reported that the airplane encountered a cloud layer that was about 2,500 ft thick while he was on the approach to FAR. He stated that there was ice buildup on the wing surfaces, but he activated the deice boots several times during the approach to runway 18 (9,001 ft by 150 ft, concrete) and the airplane's performance was normal. The airplane became clear of the clouds about 400 ft above the ground (agl) and it was right of centerline. He flew back onto the centerline maintaining 120 kts during the descent. About 100 ft agl, the airplane started "pulling to the right." He applied left aileron and left rudder, and advanced the throttle to go-around. The airplane continued to the right and impacted the terrain seconds later. A witness, who observed the accident from his office window which faced the approach threshold for runway 18, reported that he "watched the airplane fall out of the sky." He explained that he saw the wings slowly "fluttering" back and forth and recognized that the airplane was about to stall from an altitude of 130 to 140 ft agl. He said the airplane's nose pitched up and then the right wing went down. He could see the belly of the airplane and he estimated that the angle of bank was possibly 80°. The passenger, who was sitting in the right seat of the cockpit, reported that the airplane started to take on ice on the windshield and the deicing boot on the right wing while they were on the approach in the clouds. He reported that the approach was normal until they neared the ground when the tail started "fish tailing." He saw the pilot push the throttles forward; however, the left wing climbed and the airplane "pulled hard to the right." The airplane impacted the ground on its right wing and then impacted back on its belly. The initial examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing's outboard section was pushed up and aft. The nose wheel landing gear assembly was bent to the right, and the nose wheel trunnion assembly was broken in two pieces. The nose wheel assembly was separated from the fuselage with part of the trunnion attached to the wheel assembly. The left main landing gear was found folded into the gear wheel well, and the landing gear components were pushed upwards through the upper wing surface above the gear well. The examination of the wreckage revealed that there was about ½ inch of mixed ice on the leading edge of the right wing, vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, and on the angle of attack (AOA) indicator. At 1353, the surface weather observation at FAR was wind 200° at 10 kts; 5 miles visibility; mist; overcast ceiling at 400 ft; temperature -1° C; dew point -1° C; and an altimeter setting of 29.91 inches of mercury.