Learjet crashes in Florida, killing all four passengers
A Learjet on a medical evacuation flight crashed outside Fort Lauderdale Airport causing four fatalities.
A Learjet 35A (XA-USD / 35A-255) crashed on 19 November 2013, after taking-off from Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida, killing all four passengers that were on board the aircraft.
The aircraft, owned by Air Evac International, was operating as a medical evacuation aircraft en route to Cozumel in Mexico and crashed at around 8pm.
An accident report published the Aviation Safety Network says the pilot attempted to return to the airport almost immediately after take-off.
The airplane departed Fort Lauderdale Airport runway 09R about 19:50. LiveATC recordings of the Miami Departure frequency indicated that the controller cleared the flight to climb and maintain 7000 ft. The controller understood that the flight wanted to return to the airport, which was confirmed by the crew.
The controller then cleared them to “maintain four thousand, turn left heading 330.” The crew replied that this was not possible and that they were “going to do a 180.” About 19:51 the crew radioed “Mayday, mayday, mayday.” The Miami Departure controller instructed the crew to turn left, heading 260. This was confirmed by the crew. Next, the controller reported the crew to expect an approach to 28R for landing and told them to turn left heading 240.
About 19:52 the controller again instructed them to turn to a heading of 240, adding “when you are able advise when you have airport in sight”. A garbeled transmission from the crew seemed to indicate that this was not possible. About 19:53 the Depature controller suggested: “Can you make it to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport?” About 19:54 the controller reported that Fort Lauderdale Airport was at “eleven o clock eight miles.”
Two bodies were recovered on the Tuesday night of the accident and the search for the two missing passengers was suspended on Friday.
The four passengers – a pilot, co-pilot, nurse and physician – were identified in an article published on the WSVN-TV website, which also contains a witness report.
Private jets were involved in six fatal accidents in 2011, according to Robert E. Breiling Associates, resulting in 26 fatalities.