ASN Aircraft accident Learjet 35A N452DA Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 15 May 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 35A
Operated by:Trans-Pacific Jets
On behalf of:A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC
Registration: N452DA
MSN: 35A-452
First flight: 1981
Engines: 2 Garrett TFE731-2-2B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) S of Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL), United States of America
Destination airport:Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB/KTEB), United States of America
A Learjet 35A corporate jet crashed and burst into flames while on approach runway 01 to Teterboro Airport, New Jersey, USA. Both crew members suffered fatal injuries.
The flight departed from the Philadelphia International Airport, Pennsylvania, about 15:04 on a repositioning flight destined for Teterboro (TEB).
The crew filed a flight plan for the accident flight that included altitude (27,000 ft) and time en route (28 minutes) entries that were incompatible with each other, which suggests that the crew devoted little attention to preflight planning. The crew also had limited time in flight to plan and brief the approach, as required by company policy, and did not conduct an approach briefing before attempting to land at TEB.
Cockpit voice recorder data indicated that the second-in-command (SIC) was the pilot flying (PF) from PHL to TEB, despite a company policy prohibiting the SIC from acting as PF based on his level of experience. Although the accident flight was likely not the first time that the SIC acted as PF, based on comments made during the flight. The PIC regularly coached the SIC from before takeoff to the final seconds of the flight. The extensive coaching likely distracted the PIC from his duties as PIC and pilot monitoring, such as executing checklists and entering approach waypoints into the flight management system.
Collectively, procedural deviations and errors resulted in the flight crew’s lack of situational awareness throughout the flight and approach to TEB. Because neither pilot realized that the airplane’s navigation equipment had not been properly set for the instrument approach clearance that the flight crew received, the crew improperly executed the vertical profile of the approach, crossing an intermediate fix and the final approach fix hundreds of feet above the altitudes specified by the approach procedure.
The controller had vectored the flight for the instrument landing system runway 6 approach, circle to runway 1. When the crew initiated the circle-to-land maneuver, the airplane was 2.8 nautical miles (nm) beyond the final approach fix (about 1 mile from the runway 6 threshold) and could not be maneuvered to line up with the landing runway, which should have prompted the crew to execute a go-around because the flight did not meet the company’s stabilized approach criteria. However, neither pilot called for a go-around. The PIC, who had assumed control of the airplane at this point in the flight, continued the approach by initiating a turn to align with the landing runway. Radar data indicated that the airplane’s airspeed was below the approach speed required by company standard operating procedures (SOP). During the turn, the airplane stalled and impacted the ground in a right wing low and nose down attitude in an industrial area between Kero Road and Commerce Road in Carlstadt, New Jersey, 1000 m short of runway 01. A fire erupted and consumed the aircraft. Both crew members died in the accident.

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: "The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was the PIC’s attempt to salvage an unstabilized visual approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the PIC’s decision to allow an unapproved SIC to act as PF, the PIC’s inadequate and incomplete preflight planning, and the flight crew’s lack of an approach briefing. Also contributing to the accident were Trans-Pacific’s lack of safety programs that would have enabled the company to identify and correct patterns of poor performance and procedural noncompliance and the FAA’s ineffective SAS procedures, which failed to identify these company oversight deficiencies."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-19/02
Download report: Final report

Landing after unstabilized approach
Loss of control

» Flightaware
» Teterboro Learjet Crash Raises Questions about Crew Qualifications (, 13 Feb 2018)

METAR Weather report:
14:52 UTC / 18:52 local time:
KTEB 151852Z 35020G30KT 10SM SCT045 19/06 A2975

15:45 UTC / 19:45 local time:
KTEB 151945Z 32015G32KT 10SM SCT045 19/04 A2975 RMK SMOKE ON APCH

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 3 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
accident date: 15-05-2017
type: Learjet 35A
registration: N452DA
photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
accident date: 15-05-2017
type: Learjet 35A
registration: N452DA
photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
photo of Learjet-35A-N452DA
accident date: 15-05-2017
type: Learjet 35A
registration: N452DA

Video, social media

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Philadelphia International Airport, PA to Teterboro Airport, NJ as the crow flies is 147 km (92 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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