Aspen Challenger 601 crash claims one life


Challenger 601-3R N115WF (Photo: Brian Thompson)

A Bombardier Challenger 601 private jet, carrying three passengers, crashes in Aspen, Colorado, claiming one life.
Challenger 601-3R N115WF

Challenger 601-3R N115WF (Photo: Brian Thompson).

A 1994-build Bombardier Challenger 601-3R (msn 5153 / N115WF) has crashed at Aspen Pitkin County airport, claiming one life and critically injuring one other.

The aircraft had departed Mexico City’s Toluca airport on 5 January 2014 and had cleared customs via a brief stop at Tuscon Airport, before departing on the last leg of its flight to Aspen, Colorado.

After making an initial missed approach due to a 33 kts tailwind, the Challenger circled the area preparing for a second approach.

According to witness reports – which include tweets from comedian Kevin Nealon and singer LeAnn Rimes – the Challenger then landed long, bounced on initial contact with the runway, lost control and flipped over. Photographs taken at the scene show the aircraft had caught fire, although it’s believed that the fire had not spread inside the cabin.

There were three persons on board the aircraft at the time of the accident: pilot, co-pilot and passenger, all believed to be Mexican nationals.

“Right now, we have no indication that there was anything wrong prior to landing,” said Alex Burchetta, sheriff’s office spokesman.

In a recording at the time of the accident, Aspen tower can be heard giving the Challenger 601 clearance to land a minute out, stating the wind to be 330 @ 16, gusting to 25kts. Later a voice can be heard in the background calling out: “go around, go around, go around.”