Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hawker Beechcraft Model 390 Premier I - 3 Fatal Crashes In a Month

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A private jet apparently experiencing mechanical trouble crashed Sunday March 17, 2013 in a northern Indiana neighborhood, hitting three homes and killing two people aboard the plane.

Hawker Beechcraft 390 Premier 1 Crash Scene In South Bend, IN

The Hawker Beechcraft 390 Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa, Okla.'s Riverside Airport and crashed late Sunday afternoon near South Bend Regional Airport.

Two of four people aboard the plane were killed.

Cedar Posts Update: local South Bend IN station picked up on the CP post and asked the NTSB if the crashes were somehow connected:

A spokesperson for the NTSB said there is no evidence at this time connecting the three crashes.

“If we identify a fleetwide safety issue with an aircraft, we work very quickly and very closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to issue any kind of rectifying, mitigating recommendations to make that process safer for the aircraft,” said Todd. “At this time, we are in the preliminary stages of this investigation, and we do not have any indication that we are going to be making any emergency recommendations at this time.”

NewsCenter 16 contacted Beechcraft, the company that manufactures the Hawker Beechcraft 390 Premier 1A to inquire about any known issues with the model, the exact number of planes in service, when the planes began being manufactured or whether there are plans to ground it in light of the three crashes in the past month. The company sent the following in an emailed response:

"Beechcraft is cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board and cannot comment due to the three ongoing active investigations."

The plane that crashed in South Bend, was registered to 7700 Enterprises of Montana LLC in Helena, Mont. The company is owned by Wes Caves and does business as DigiCut Systems in Tulsa, Okla. It makes window film and paint overlay for automobiles

Mike Daigle, executive director of the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, said the jet attempted a landing about 4:15 p.m., went back up and maneuvered south to try another landing, but eight minutes later the airport learned the plane was no longer airborne.

"There was an indication of a mechanical problem," Herwig said.

The crash comes less than a month after the crash of another Hawker Beechcraft 390 jet in Thomson Georgia.

Five people died in that crash that also happened during an aborted landing.

Normally you could just fault tragic coincidence, but

On March 4, 2013, a Hawker Beechcraft model 390 (Premier IA) business jet, with a Cayman Islands registration of VP-CAZ, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Aérodrome d'Annemasse (LFLI), near Cranves-Sales, France.

Wittnesses reported that the aircraft struggled shortly after leaving the runway struck a barn then a fence and bounced once before impacting the ground behind a farm house and bursting into flames.

The wreckage of Hawker Beechcraft VP-CAZ

Hawker Beechcraft VP-CAZ

Satelite View of the airfield and crash site shown suspected flight path of VP-CAZ

The pilot and copilot were fatally injured, the sole passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Chakibel Associates Limited and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg.

VFR visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that had the intended destination of Genève Aéroport (LSGG), Geneva, Switzerland.

Cedar's Take: I'd expect the NTSB and FAA guys have taken notice. Just too many similarities, to call it coincidence. The Hawker Beechcraft may just not be as forgiving as pilots expect in certian configurations, much like a Lear-25.


Anonymous said...

2014?????? Cedar you are saying that its gonna happen next year?

Cedar Posts said...


Gosh I hope not these things are not fun.

Look a lot better fying than they do drilled into a house.

I def need more coffee.

Manesh Gopal said...

True..this ac is not as easy to fly as is made out to be and therein may lie the link. HBC filing for bankruptcy...leading to a drop in the aftermarket prices to around 2mil ....making it affordable to owner pilots who are not really in the league to afford or who don't want to hand over their new toy to professional pilots with fast light jet experience. Having flown fighter jets for most my life, the last two years flying the premier has taught me to be on the ball and be precise managing the approach. specially coming into short fields and or with flap/spoiler failures. If you are not prepared..things can go out of hand pretty soon. With everything working well its a simple aeroplane to fly, combine a high speed wing with lift and drag device failures ...it takes a little more skill and anticipation.

Anonymous said...

The pilot and copilot both were very experienced pilots as in 30+ years flying and both had owned various planes in the past. I knew the copilot very well and he was as level, studied and focused as anyone. It would be hard for me to believe there is not a problem with the plane. When you listen to the audio of the tower conversation, they were dead stick 8-9 minutes prior to landing. It appears there was no way to slow it down and when trying to land made a 4-5 inch gouge in concrete runway, slowed it down enough to stall. With 3 crashes of same type jet in less than a month there seems to be a pattern.

Cedar Posts said...

Thank you for the input. I have to agree something is going on here.

I have about 200 hours in a MU-2 easy platform to handle but in the wrong configuration it is more like a Pitts than a Beechcraft.

Seems in the aborted landing there isn't a lot of envelope to work with.